There are 5 skills involved in learning to read. Explanations of those five skills, along with suggestions of how you can help your child develop each skill area as follows:
This is a pre-requisite to phonics and one of the best predictors of later reading success. It is the understanding that words and syllables can be broken down into smaller units. This is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words. Before children learn to read print, they need to become aware of how the sounds in words work.
“Sally, bally, bo, bally, banana, fanna, fo fally, be, by, bo bally, oh sally”
This allows children to manipulate different sounds in familiar words.
Read books with rhymes, sing rhyming songs and learn poems.
Make word family words – bat, hat, sat, cat
Work with individual sounds – s-u-n……….sun
This provides children with a consistent strategy to apply sound-symbol relationships to decode new words. This is m = MMMM and monkey starts with m.
Phonetic skills help children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
Teach letter/sound relationships
Play alphabet bingo
Identify vowels – a, e, i, o, u
Work w letter combinations – ‘st’ in stop sign,
After children are able to change printed symbols into sounds, they enter a stage of developing fluency. Word recognition becomes easy and fluent reading is characterized by a lack of trouble w/ word identification. This is when they can read text accurately and quickly. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. They need to become fluent in order to understand what they’ve read.
Model fluent reading
Have child read and re-read familiar text.
Have child read along with you.
Read short poems over and over.
This is understanding the words we use to communicate. Oral vocabulary is the words we use in speaking and listening. Reading vocabulary is what impacts reading comprehension.
Talk, read, talk, read, answer questions, talk, read, clarify
This is the end goal of reading. Decoding without understanding is pointless. This is the very reason for reading. The first 3 years we learn to read, the rest of our lives, we read to learn. Good readers are purposeful. They have a purpose for reading.
Read recipes while cooking
Read toy and game instructions
Ask questions about the text your child is reading. Who is in the story? What is the story about? Have you ever had a similar experience? How is this character like others you’ve read about?
Clarify words your child doesn’t understand.
More Ways Parents Can Help a Child Learning to Read:
Daily read and reread stories to child
Encourage attempts @ reading/writing
Allow child to participate in cooking, list writing
Play games that involve specific instructions
Engage child in conversation
Talk about favorite storybooks
Read to child and encourage child’s reading
Suggest child to write to friends/relatives
Ask child to share what they’ve learned
Share w/ teacher evidence of child’s reading/writing
Continue to read to and have child read to you
Engage in activities that require literacy
Display child’s written work
Visit library regularly
Support child’s hobby w/ reading material & references
Visit library and bookstores to encourage
Highlight child’s progress in reading/writing
Encourage child to use print for many purposes
such as recipes, directions, games, sports
Build a love of language through conversation
Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children