Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teach your child to read effectively

We are baffled as to why our children don't want to read or can't reador that maybe they could be late bloomers in reading and thus give usunnecessary worries and much more, that is suspecting them of havingsome kind of reading disability.What could have happened? We must have lost them when they started tobe curious about printed words.

What happened to them from then onbecomes a parent's dilemma. Perhaps we lost the magic ourselves in helpingthem to read. We expect that without so much help from us adults,children will read when the time comes on their own, just like their firststeps. But reading is a different matter. Yes, it is true that readingmust be desired and not be forced. But it is also caught, not onlytaught. Therefore something as great and as important as reading, preparationand exposure to reading are the keys.

We must prepare the children forit to happen and to blossom and make children read naturally,effectively, and enjoyably? How do we go about it?First of all, the children's desire and enjoyment for printed words arenot allotted in the hands of the child's first teacher, but his ownparents. The parents are the first adults who should plant the seeds ofdesire in reading as early as when the child is in the mother's womb.Read to them. We have heard of the story of one mom who read medicalbooks to her babies while they were merely fetuses in her womb, and herbabies when they grew up pursued medicine and became doctors. Babies canhear the beautiful rhyme in the words with your cooing loving voice. They will be able to identify this reading voice later on when you will bereading to them and will like the activity of reading as they haveexperienced it in their prenatal period and as babies.

Make your children treasure books just as they treasure their precioustoys. Show them how precious books are. Model this desire to read tothem. They should catch you reading most of the time instead of watchingtelevision all the time. You know what they said about viewingtelevision a lot, nothing is left for the imagination, for creativity, forthinking and does not encourage reading. It could be very entertaining andless effort on our part to do the work, but it does not help andencourage the child to think more, and does not challenge the child's mentalfaculties.

Don't forget to make books one of the most precious things that yourchildren treasure; give books as their coveted gifts. Buy your childrengood books, books that are given awards and recognition. Put them in aspecial place among his precious things to convey the message howimportant books are.Invest in good children's books. The money you spend is worth a fortunewhen later on it comes to your children liking and enjoying reading.Let them choose the books that they like to read. You may suggest thebooks to read to them or the books that you are going to read together,but the final choice is theirs. The saying: "The customer is alwaysright" applies here.

Read to them as often as you can, not only when you send them to sleep.Find a very pleasant place to read with them- at the beach, near alake, in your garden, in a hammock. Let them think of reading as a veryrelaxing thing to do, not something taxing that causes them to feelresistant to it at a tender age.Even though they can read by themselves, it would still be nice for youto read to them, just to continue the pleasant experience of enjoyingreading together. Make reading a shared activity.

Read words together with no stopping to try to sound words that poseproblems. If your child struggles to say a word, don't let him stopsaying it until he gets the word right. Constant exposure and patience isthe key to learning to read words.It is hard for children to remember rules in reading. Get away fromstating rules if they are just beginning to learn to read. Instead modelthe reading to them; they like that better, and when they like it, andenjoy it, then the task becomes easy. It is like the first time yourbaby learns to walk, the movements are awkward and fumbling at first, butafterwards, he just gets the hang of it. Suddenly, as in walking, allthe sounds that he hears now make sense in the printed materials that hereads. Give him enough space and time, but early exposure to anenvironment where there is love of reading should be given to him.

There is also the beauty of syllabicating words for children to knowthe sounds in the words. The children enjoy knowing and saying the soundsin the words. Have a game in which the children identify the soundsthat they hear when you say the words before you let them say the words.Introduce many poems for the children to read. The rhythmic patterns ofthe lines never fail to stimulate the children's appetite for rhythmicsounds as well as the rhyming words at the end of the lines. Let the children see you reading a lot, and that you are enjoyingreading. One of your favorite places to spend a lot of time should be thelibrary and the book stores. When you go shopping add a book for them toyour shopping list.There should be reading time in your household schedule instead of thecontinuous flashing of light from the tube. Don't send your childrento their room just to get rid of them and hurry to say, "Go and watchthe television." Instead: "Why don't you go to your room and read thatbook that we just bought or borrowed from the library?Scatter a lot of good books around the house; spend money on good booksif you can afford them.

Instead of a lot of toys, start your childwith a collection of his favorite books. And every night or whateverschedule you have let him read his favorite book to an eager audience. Thereshould be a special place in the house that is allotted to reading,and make that part of your house one of the most attractive and bestparts of your house; something that they will remember even when they haveleft your house.When you read to the children, manage to have your best readingexpression that will excite them. Captivate their young mind. Later on you maywant to read a play and dramatize it just so you can have a lot of funfrom reading the material.

As early as when they are in the mother's womb, the babies should beread to already. They should hear the beautiful rhyme in the words withyour cooing loving voice. They will be able to identify this readingvoice later on when you will be reading to them and like the activity ofreading as they have been used to it as a pleasant experience in theprenatal period in their life.Allow them to repeat to you several times the parts that they like inthe story and later on when they are capable, you might have a gooddiscussion of the content of the book to develop their readingcomprehension.When listening to them read, give your full attention and express yourappreciation of their good reading. If you can afford it reward theirgood effort with something they like to have or do.

Introduce a variety of reading materials. Don't limit your reading tothe same materialall the time. This will widen the reading horizon of children and willcultivate their preferences especially if they know such good booksexist.The classroom teacher should expose the children to different kinds ofreading. The teacher should constantly read to the children. Studentsshould take turns in reading or listen to audiobooks or invite guests toread. Students should be encouraged to do reading in pairs or participate inguided reading. when assigning books for book report writing, read stories fordiscussion of its element, for inferences, for noting details, forcomprehension, for grasping the main ideas; for giving the beginning,middle, and the ending, for appreciation of figurative speeches; forenjoyment of rhythmic patterns, and rhyming words.Expose your child to the different forms of literature- fables, fantasy, memoir, legend/folk tale,autobiography, personal experience, informational writing, letter, song, poem,science fiction, realistic fiction, reference, horror, etc.

As for the different approaches for effective reading, teachers shouldutilize all methods and approaches; they must go to basics, use phonicsto beginning readers, discuss structure of words- finding the rootwords, affixes, encourage a lot of syllabication drills in enhancingreading, use supplementary reading activity laboratories (SRA) forindependent reading, and have a lot of vocabulary study.It is a must to have vocabulary study before the reading of the story;it is best to pull out phrases from a story being read and read anddiscuss the phrase briefly to facilitate the reading of the story.Have a bulletin board that encourages the reading of good books ormonitoring the reading achievements of the students. It is most effectiveif you have contests to encourage the children's reading. For the little children, flash words continuously to them. The key toreading is constant exposure to words. Group words that rhyme; childrenlike to read rhyming words. You should have plenty of them. Scatterthese words around. Say hang up a fake snake, and around the object,write as many words that refer to it such as: slither, scaly, reptile,hissing, sting, etc.

When asking a child to read and he struggles over some words, thestrategy is the same as the one I mentioned when working with your childwith his reading- sound the word/s immediately. Make reading as enjoyable as can be. Have unison reading a lot with your class.In this way, even the timid readers gets into the flow of reading. Havethe children use props if necessary when they are reading to make itmore entertaining for them- such as make use of hand puppets whilereading, if these materials are available.Have a small library in the room, and make it part of the free time -quiet reading time in the library. Work with the school librarian tomake books available to the children to borrow according to what they arelearning in class.Have the children exchange books among themselves; let them talk abouttheir favorite books. What books should they recommend for classmatesto read?Publish or display the best book reports the students have done forsharing.

Have a "Reading Night" among the young children where they read to anassembly of parents and fellow students to show how good they are inreading. Allow them to choose the book they want to read, and let thenpractice reading. Children love to perform and will like the challenge.Have them do a lot of practice reading in the classroom and do it onlywith students who like the idea.Have your children's parents come up with a reading club among yourstudents such as Young Readers Club similar to that of the Girls Scout ora Sports Team. Children like to be part of a Club. And what betterway to recognize them than to give them awards for reading books. Havethem do fun activities that have something to do with reading. When adults, especially the child's parents, have exerted all effortsto help their child become an effective reader, they have given him avery good foundation of success in his later life.

Reading brings you to a higher level of thinking experience. Treasureit and pass it on!

No comments: