6 Tips for Teaching Children to Read at Home
Reading is a kind of friendship, said the writer Marcel Proust to describe the importance of the fraternal and sincere bond woven in this act. If you want to know about teaching children to read at home, you could begin by fostering an emotional encounter in which the guest of honor is language.
Just as the ability to speak is an innate condition of human beings, reading is a cultural condition. Therefore, it’s one more action that the brain must learn. To achieve this, the stimulation of our environment is decisive.
In reality, reading begins even before literacy itself when children can establish relationships between words and things. This is called reading the world. To accompany you in this process, we’ve prepared six tips below.
Tips for teaching children to read at home
To teach children to read at home, the first thing you should promote are experiences with language that arise spontaneously. The more prosperous and varied these experiences are, the greater the possibilities of grasping and understanding different texts.
That is why it’s essential to generate spaces for interaction so that they develop the progressive capacity to conceptualize in their minds as they become familiar with words. According to the philosopher of language Lev Vigotsky, this is key in the whole process of learning to read.
1. Play with words
Word games incorporated naturally into the routine of children in the family are a very good stimulus. Between songs, chants, chants, riddles, and tongue twisters, the path to reading is paved. All of them are oral forms that invite fun and games. Plus, they’ll all help in the complex process of establishing the relationships needed to understand texts later on.
With these games, children exercise their memories, make connections between words and concepts, practice diction, and let their imaginations fly. You can start with the ones you remember from your own childhood and gradually incorporate other books on topics that interest them.
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2. When teaching children to read at home, read aloud
Reading aloud is one of the strategies that have the most significant impact on children. The connection that’s established at that moment incites their emotions.
Because of this, it’s crucial to strive to make a loving and unforgettable reading, paying attention to the appropriate intonations and the rhythm of the reading. These are necessary to communicate the intention of the text, which is essential for its comprehension and for the analysis that children will make later on.
The reading should be appropriate to the age of the child. With practice, you’ll be able to make it a truly fun and personalized experience. Here, personality also influences the choice of text. Some children tolerate a longer story more than others, and if the latter get bored, they may lose interest.
3. Build their own library
Buy them beautiful and fun books with good stories and in different formats. Offer a variety of textures: three-dimensional, miniatures, and with sounds.
The children’s publishing world has many amazing alternatives available. Be an observant mother or a curious father, and you’ll be able to fine-tune the criteria to your children’s tastes.
Build a corner at home that serves as a library and allows them to select the book they want to read. Also, pay attention to their reactions to probe or answer any questions. If your child seems exhausted, it may be time to stop.
Read them a short story before bedtime, preferably a calming one. This will help them feel secure. The last images of the day often creep into our dreams, after all!
4. Draw letters, syllables, and words
Drawing is a form of representation. This operation of abstraction is necessary to symbolize the sounds of letters, syllables, and words. This is known as the acquisition of phonological awareness.
For this to happen, children need to reach a degree of neurological maturity characteristic of human evolution, which can be stimulated from birth with actions that enhance their relationship with words.
5. Look for a suitable environment when teaching children to read
Choose a pleasant space together where you can concentrate and avoid interruptions. Make it clear that the time spent reading is essential to you and that you’re not in a hurry.
Make sure they feel comfortable in the chosen place and that they can see the pages of the book. During the reading, you can occasionally point with your finger to the line you’re reading to guide them. If they already identify the words, they can review them. If it’s still in process, it works for the brain to classify and store them in the memory.
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6. Teach by example
In reality, this last tip should have been in the first, because all children learn by example, and the most significant influence they have is what they see at home. They must perceive that your relationship with books is valued. Don’t hide the emotion that a story, a recipe, a poem can awaken in you.
Read despite the multiple occupations that you may have but without doing it just out of duty. Always have a book omn hand and carry it in your bag. You never know when you’ll have a little extra time and when it will be the best company!
Teaching children to read at home with the memories of our own childhoods
When children learn to decode letters and achieve literacy, they’re closing a cycle that began with the first lullabies they heard from their parents. Thus, it’s oral interaction that allows them to understand the relationships between words and their referents. Therefore, before mastering the written word, they’ve learned to interpret the world around them.
There are pedagogical methods to teach children to read at home, such as syllabic, synthetic, analytical, and mixed methods. They’ve been used for generations and have advocates and detractors.
However, before investigating what they are, dig into your own memories. You’ll be sure to find some anecdotes about what it was like for you to learn to read. Reflecting on your own experience may shed new light on how you can try to repeat what helped you. Your children will benefit from it!