Reading and your child
IT IS estimated that a sixyear-old child will know approximately 8,000 root words of English. If that six-year-old knew about 50 words in 18 months, then that child would have learned nearly 8,000 words in 4 1⁄2 years, or an average of five new words per day.
Children who enjoy talking often make the most successful start to reading.
Really listen to what your child tells you. This shows how important you think it is.
If he/she is struggling with words, be patient and let him/her finish his/her sentences.
Much of what you say to children consists of instructions. It’s good to encourage longer two-way conversations.
Asking questions about feelings is great to encourage developing expression.
Books are an ideal source of ideas when you need to develop conversation with your child.
One of the most significant periods of learning and memory
development occurs between 18 months to six years. Children have an increasingly large vocabulary to help them express their feelings and knowledge.
Curiosity is one of the biggest drives in all learning. At first, your child will be curious about why books matter to you, and later, they’ll be curious about what happens to the people in the story.
When you’ve finished a book, go back and use the story and pictures to ask questions and share possible answers. This will boost imagination and curiosity.
It isn’t always important to come up with the right answer. It is the thinking and wondering that matter, and that children’s ideas, feelings and reasoning are taken seriously.
Children will develop gradually and at their own pace towards successful
reading. But your support during pre-reading will help foster:
Positive attitudes towards books and reading
Happy experiences of stories and rhymes
An understanding of how books work
Some specific prereading skills
Learning to read depends on visual and auditory memory – sight and hearing. Memory holds the key role in reading and all other learning.
Children will need to remember letter shapes and sounds, whole words and their meaning.
Enjoyable repetition is vital for words to be stored in memory. Rhymes and repetitive stories can help.
Anxiety hinders the efficient use of memory, especially in early reading. Keep story times lighthearted and fun.
Children usually remember those things that interest them, and are more likely to remember things that feel important to their world.