Learning to read can either be an exciting time or a point of frustration in a child’s, as
well as parents’, life.
I can’t tell you how many times I am exasperatedly told, “she won’t read for me,” “he gets so frustrated and just gives up,” “she hates reading and I don’t know how to make it enjoyable for her,” or “he thinks he is a bad reader and has such low self-confidence about it.”
These comments are all too common!
Parents want so badly to instill a love of reading within their child but are unsure where to begin.
As a preschool reading specialist I work closely with parents educating them in the various ways to support and foster their child’s early literacy development.
So I’m here to share with you the two most common misunderstandings I see made when it comes to encouraging beginning readers along with successful suggestions on how to aid them.
Mistake #1- “Just sound it out”- This is where I see the biggest frustration come into play.
Your child is stuck on a word and you ask them to sound it out.
In all fairness this is what you have been taught. This is all you really know!
But guess what? You cannot always sound out a word (try sounding out the word, ‘what’ or ‘one’)!
So, in an effort to avoid unnecessary frustration simply read the word for your child. That’s it! It’s as simple as that! If you are following along and notice a word up ahead that you
know your child will not recognize or won’t be able to sound out then just read it for them….it’s ok!
This keeps your child reading fluently and makes reading much more enjoyable for them (who wants to be stuck sounding out a word for 5 minutes?).
Mistake #2- “That’s not right”- Think helicopter parent.
You are standing over your child as they read each and every word, pointing out what was read wrong, or asking them to either read faster or slow down.
This is sure to dim your child’s desire to read!
Just for a minute, imagine your boss hovering over you at work, commenting on everything you say, everything you do, every word you type.
How would you feel?
I’m thinking you’d feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious! You’d probably just want to quit!
So NOT fun!
And the thing is, often times when a child reads a word incorrectly, they are aware of their mistake and given a couple of seconds will self-correct.
However, if you are correcting them before they even have a chance to recognize
their mistake, they will become frustrated.
So just give them some space to make mistakes! Let them read a sentence or a word incorrectly. Then when they are finished ask them, “did that make sense?” Or, “let’s look at
that sentence/word again.”
I truly hope that these reading strategies are helpful for you and your beginning reader!
Remembering to always stay positive, supportive and encouraging in addition to applying these strategies will help ensure you are nurturing your child’s early literacy development.
P.S Were these reading strategies helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment!