Reading books with your child is a fun way to spend time together. Research shows by only spending 15 minutes each day reading with your child, you can help them develop a love of reading and prepare them to be successful in school.
When your child listens and looks at books with you, they are actually beginning to learn to read. Learning to read is a process that involves the following six early literacy or pre-reading skills:
- Enjoyment of books. Children who have a fun and enjoyable experience are more likely to be interested in learning to read.
- Noticing print. Books teach children that we read left to right and top to bottom. They also help children notice words found in other places in our homes and in public places.
- Knowing the names of many things. Reading a variety of books to your child will introduce them to new words. Children with a big vocabulary are more likely to understand what they read and sound out words they do not recognize.
- Learning letters. While reading, children are noticing how letters look and sound differently.
- Telling stories. Having children answer questions about the story or retell what happened helps them understand what they read.
- Hearing the small sounds in words. Books that have rhyming words help children to hear the smaller sounds in words, which helps them to learn to sound out words as they begin to read.
You can easily incorporate these six pre-reading skills each time you read a book. To learn how to help your child gain these skills based on their age,