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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Teaching Kids How to Read: Your Time Starts Now!

By Andrew Loh

You are probably trying to teach your kid how to read. Of course, it is a nice idea! A child who develops the habit of reading is a wise child with a smart mind and a great intellect. As a parent, do you have a solid blueprint or an action plan to make your child a "bookholic"? It is always better to train your kid to read before he or she enters school or you can even supplement his or her school instruction, by providing related materials for reading. Teaching your kid how to read could be a tricky task and a difficult exercise. Most kids find it to be very boring and sedentary activity, while the lure of games and action will make them repulsive to the idea of reading.

Teaching your kids to read involves a series of steps and methods that cajole them to start reading. Here are some basic steps and methods that will help you teach your child the techniques of reading, as well as make him or her aware of the advantages and benefits of reading:

Preparing your child to read: Being the most basic step, how do you go about preparing your child? Preparing child to read means making the child¡¯s mind inclined towards reading habit. In fact, this is probably the most difficult step in the whole process. Introducing your child to reading also means laying a solid foundation for developing future reading skills.

Sharpening his listening skills: To develop reading habits in your child means sharpening his or her listening skills. You can empower his or her listening skills by reading out interesting stories and anecdotes just before the bedtime. Reading out stories from book in front of your kid will help him or her develop a keen interest in reading. To sharpen his or her reading skills will also involve slowly introducing colorful and gripping storybooks.

Correcting reading errors: First time reader is always a confused reader! It is very common to see children committing errors while reading for the first time. Some of them may even hold the book upside down! Never scold your kid if he or she commits an error. Instead, try and correct the error by teaching good book reading mannerisms and easy reading skills; these may include reading the letters one by one loudly or just look at those vibrantly colorful pictures and graphics. All kids like to look and gaze at colorful animals, birds and flowers.

Choosing right type of books: The type and quality of books that you introduce for the first few weeks will largely influence future reading habits. You will need to exercise enough caution while buying baby books for your child. More popular baby books are basic in nature and their themes may include very simple and straightforward alphabets, colors, numerals, cartoon characters and big lettered fairy tale books. Ensure that the book that you purchase is light and not too bulky, so that your child will be able to carry it without any trouble. Wax coated and hardbound books are possibly the best birthday gifts you can give your child. Coloring and drawing books are the other tools that can help your child take an active interest in developing reading skills.

Reading aloud: Reading aloud will not only help your kid to comprehend the contents easily but also understand them in a better way. It will also help you correct your kid if there is an error in pronunciation and diction.

Lending a helping hand: Help and assistance should be around the corner to assist your child correct his or her mistake graciously. Children tend to make lot of mistakes and errors while reading books; these could be anything from wrong punctuation to weak pronunciation, to skipping in between the lines and sentences.

Making reading time simple and adding fun activities along with reading will help your kid develop a keen interest in those magnificent books. However, you may like to develop that knack of adding correct age appropriate activities to make reading sessions more interactive and interesting. You will be surprised to see that your kid will start holding that cute little book in his or her tiny hands wherever he or she goes in the house. This is possibly the first definite sign that he or she is getting a fancy and a keen interest for reading good books. Once you identify that your kid is showing an inclination for reading, start acting as a catalyst to carry forward the momentum.



Child Development

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