Learning to read and write may not seem as easy as it is. Teachers and Parents do not just wave a magic wand and the kids will start to read and write, so how can your kids learn to do so? If you are looking for ways to improve on your kids’ reading and writing ability, check out some of these few techniques and simple supplies which may just help!
In most kindergarten classroom environment, they will have those alphabet charts displayed somewhere in the room, normally with a picture of something that associates with that same letter (e.g. A for Apple and you will see an Image of Red Rosy Apple to associate with it). Many places also have the vowels and consonants separated, too. Teachers usually teach kids the alphabet song by an early age and even if they may not know the exact sound the letter makes, they start to learn the names of the letters. As parents, you can help to reinforce their learning by including either simple alphabet chart or associate letters with the stuff / food at home.
As mentioned above, when kids learn to read they are given pictures of simple objects that start with that same letter and are told to write or trace the letter along the sides. Another way to associate the letters is by learning the name of the first letter of their first name and that way they also learn the sound it makes. Many children’s programs such as Sesame Street use the same teaching method, associating words with pictures in order to guess the sound.
Phonetics is not always the easiest thing to learn in the English language since most of our letters can make more than one sound, and we also have many silent letters. Once children have the basics, many teachers will start to teach the rules of phonetics, and the only way to learn them is by practice and memory. As Parents, you can also reinforce their learning by getting involved with them! There are flash cards and books that focus on the phonetic fundamentals which you can bring them on-the-go especially long car rides.
The best way for kids to learn to read on their own is by practicing. Even small children can read flash cards with single letters, or consonant and vowel pairs. Older children should have age appropriate children’s books and should always read out lout so parents can monitor and help their progress. Kids should be given all the time it takes in order for them to sound a word out on their own and as a last resort, parents can assist.
Holding a Crayon or Pencil
Most preschool and kindergartens start out by teaching children how to hold crayons in a fisted hand, and later in the correct position as if they were going to actually write. Fine motors skills are developed over time and since pencils are thinner and longer, they are harder for small hands to grasp. There are shorter, thicker, triangular shaped pencils that are helpful to use after moving up from crayons but before using a real pencil.
Many teachers use scrap paper or old newspaper just to let children scribble. While the art may just look like a mess, it is not the picture that is important, but the fact that the child is learning to control the writing instrument, whatever that may be. Most teachers will suggest to start scribbling those general shapes such as circles, straight lines or curves in order for children to start training their hands.
By using tracing paper or dotted lines, children start to control their movements more while tracing shapes, letters and pictures. Connect the dots worksheets are also used, increasing the accuracy of fine motor skills and preparing kids to write with little assistance. For home practice, parents can write or draw in pen and have children mark over those objects using different colored pencils or crayons.
Drawing or copying pictures is not only fun, but a good way to perfect a child’s writing skills. Examples should include simple shapes, straight or curved lines and the need to lift the pencil off the paper in order to complete the drawing. This final step prepares children for writing letters and numbers.
Copying Letters and Numbers
Just like tracing, kids should start out by tracing, then copying words or numbers and then writing it for a third time all on their own. Practicing the sound the letter makes or drawing a picture of something that starts with that letter also helps children get an early start on reading by learning to related the letter to the picture and sound.
At The End Of The Day…
Practice, Practice, Practice is the best way to teach kids to read and write. Parents should never lose their cool and try to make the experience fun and interactive for both. No child is perfect and not a single one will learn to read and write overnight. Flash cards, age appropriate books and work books found at any book store can help any child of any age improve their learning skills with company of a parent.