When is it time to start working on reading skills? Right now. Reading begins with vocabulary, oral language, and talk. So talk with your child often. Talk and listen, share family stories, use new words, ask open-ended questions, be patient, and encourage word use.
While schools do a lot to promote and improve literacy skills in young readers, there is still a lot you can do at home to help your child succeed. Just because a child has learned to read doesn’t mean that he or she no longer appreciates, or wouldn’t benefit from, reading aloud with an adult.
After children have mastered pre-reading skills, the instructional focus shifts to vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Most vocabulary is learned indirectly through everyday experiences with both written and oral language. Many children learn new words through read-alouds, but also through conversation.
When is the appropriate time to start working on reading skills? Some educational researchers suggest reading aloud to children in the womb. Others say when a child is a newborn. Still others say as soon as possible. In short, it is never too early to start working on reading skills.
The most fundamental definition of reading is being able to interpret written symbols and understand printed material. Like walking and talking, learning to read does not happen all at once, but happens gradually through continuous experiences with printed material and reading related activities.
At our house no one is ever hungry, they are “staaarving!” No one is ever tired, they are “exhaaaausted!”
That’s how we roll. To just say things straight would be “sooo incredibly booooring!”
And we are not just prone to hyperbole either, we like all types of colorful language, especially idioms.
Watching your child develop language skills is definitely one of the great joys of parenting. My five year old is picking up big, grown-up words every day, and it is fun watching her figure out how to use them.
But, as with any new skill your child obtains, there are definitely drawbacks.
I pulled out a pad of paper to jot down a few ideas for my blog post, and the toddler to my right (my son Emmett’s friend) inquired, “Mommy write?”
Impressed with her command of the word “write,” I joyfully responded, “Yes.