As a parent, you can help your child want to learn to read in a way no one else can. That desire to learn to read is a key to your child's later success.
The U.S. Department of Education has produced helps for parents to teach children to learn to read. The simple ideas that follow build skills that a baby (from birth to one year) needs to become a reader.
Babies love hearing your voice. "When you answer your child's sounds with sounds of your own, she learns that what she "says" has meaning and is important to you." Here are some more tips to teach your child to learn to read:
Even babies from age 6 weeks to 1 year can learn to appreciate basic concepts of reading. For example, sharing books is a way to have fun with your baby and to start him on the road to becoming a reader.
Cardboard or cloth books with large, simple pictures of things with which babies are familiar Lift-the-flap, touch-and-feel, or peek-through play books.
Read to your baby for short periods several times a day. Bedtime is always a good time, but you can read at other times as well-while you're in the park, on the bus, or even at the breakfast table (without the food!).
As you read, point out things in the pictures. Name them as you point to them.
Give your baby sturdy books to look at, touch, and hold. Allow him to peek through the holes or lift the flaps to discover surprises.
Your baby is learning to read! Your baby soon will recognize the faces and voices of those who care for him. As you read to your baby, he will begin to connect books with what he loves most-your voice and closeness.
As your child matures, you can instill in him skills so that he can learn to read. One excellent way is talking and having conversations with your child. These play a necessary part in helping his language skills grow.
Continue talking with your older child as you did with your baby. Talking helps him to develop language skills and lets him know that what he says is important.
The first activities listed below work well with younger children. As your child grows older, however, the later activities will help him learn to read better. But keep doing the first ones as long as he enjoys them.
Here is a final suggest for your helping your child to learn to read-monitor use of television.
Many children enjoy TV, and they can learn from it. Keep in mind, though, that young children often imitate what they see, good or bad. It's up to you to decide how much TV and what kinds of shows your child should watch.
Think about your child's age and choose the types of things that you want him to see, learn, and imitate.
Look for TV shows that
teach your child something,
hold his interest,
encourage him to listen and question,
help him learn more words,
make him feel good about himself, and
introduce him to new ideas and things.
"Sesame Street," "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," "Blue's Clues," "Between the Lions," "Reading Rainbow," "Barney & Friends," "Zoom," and "Zoboomafoo," are some shows that you may want to consider. Many other good children's programs are available on public television stations and on cable channels such as the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
Limit the time that you let your child watch TV. Too much television cuts into important activities in a child's life, such as reading, playing with friends, and talking with family members.
Watch TV with your child when you can. Talk with him about what you see. Answer his questions. Try to point out the things in TV programs that are like your child's everyday life.
When you can't watch TV with your child, spot check to see what he is watching. Ask questions after the show ends. See what excites him and what troubles him. Find out what he has learned and remembered.
Go to the library and find books that explore the themes of the TV shows that your child watches. Or help your child to use his drawings or pictures cut from magazines to make a book based on a TV show.
These Learn-to-Read suggestions and activities given by the Department of Education are excellent and proven idea to turn your child into a life-long reader.