How Do You Jump Start Your Child's Reading Skills?


Quick Answer

Parents help children develop reading skills by talking to them, reading regularly with children and pointing out print in the environment. The basis for learning begins in the first three years of life, so early reading experiences are essential in developing literacy.

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Full Answer

Reading daily to a young child is one of the easiest and most effective ways to develop reading skills. The child hears new vocabulary words and learns the conventions of print and reading. She sees her parent reading from left to right and pausing at periods.

Parents should model effective reading by speaking clearly and using expression. Following along with a finger helps a child connect the words she hears with the print on the page. Parents can develop reading comprehension by asking the child what might happen next and retelling the story after reading.

Seeing parents read also encourages the habit of reading in kids of all ages. When reading is viewed as enjoyable, a child is more likely to engage in reading on her own. The more she reads, the better her reading skills become.

Environmental print is another way for young kids to realize that letters and words have meaning. Parents can point out words on street signs, packages and other items during everyday activities.

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