Reading To Children From Babyhood to Adolescence – 6 Keys To Introducing Reading Skills


parents reading to childrenWhat is Reading Readiness?

Reading Readiness is when your child, usually ages 4-7, begins to enjoy learning sight words and phonics or just remarkably reads on his or her own. Reading readiness becomes obvious when with just an introduction to these skills children take off learning on their own. It’s invigorating for parents to see. The idea is that there is no sense to push reading early because when children are ready, they just zoom ahead on their own with great pleasure. Sometimes when reading is introduced in kindergarten, there seems to be a slow start, but in first grade reading just takes off. That’s when reading readiness has set in.

Should You Push Kids to Read Before Elementary School?

The reading readiness concept reveals that pushing even kids with precocious language skills to read may make reading unpleasant, a definite No-No. However, there certainly are those few children who pick up reading around age three. If they start to demonstrate an interest, begin to point out words on street signs, toys, books, or TV. Just go with it at their fun pace. And of course, continue reading to them.

The Keys to Introducing Reading Skills

1. Reading should always be about pleasure.
2. Read to your child every day
3. Read books to your child about what interests you and your child.
4. Read with expression, enthusiasm, and delight.
5. Let your child see you reading and enjoying it. When you’re reading on your own and enjoying it, tell your child about your book at a level they can understand. Tell either the content or just how much pleasure you’re experiencing.
6. Sight words are words that can’t be sounded out and are found frequently such as: the, a, this, with,yes, when, etc. If your child shows an interest in these words before kindergarten, you can make colorful notes with the words and hang them on your refrigerator and create little picture books with the words. If your child is in school, check with your child’s teacher, so your child isn’t overloaded with new words.

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Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and author who does psychotherapy with infants and parents, children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Hollman’s new book: Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and She writes about infant, child and adolescent development, mental health, Parental Intelligence, and a broad range of parenting topics.


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