Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Letters, Sounds, and Words- Learning to Read

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Learning to read is exciting for children and parents, although difficulties with reading can also be quite frustrating.  As parents, we need to remember that kids begin the process of reading long before they enter school.  They listen to others speak and repeat the sounds as they learn to talk.  They learn about letters and see words everywhere they turn.  All of these are components in building a strong base from which they can move on to more complicated tasks.

Educational jargon can be confusing- you’ll hear the terms phonics, letter recognition, and sight words.  You’ll be given suggestions on how to increase retention and improve phonological awareness.  It may be overwhelming at times, but your child’s teacher is there to help and there are some fantastic resources available online.

What we want children to understand is that letters represent sounds and those letters join together to form words.  Reading aloud to your children is important and gives them the opportunity to see reading modeled by an adult.  It’s also important to provide what we call a “literature rich environment,” which means that they are surrounded by words, text, and books, long before they learn to read. Your local library is a great resource.

As children become more independent as readers, we want to encourage their independence in figuring out words and understanding stories.  Asking questions is one of the best things you can do to help your child, even if he isn’t reading on his own yet.

Have fun with it and explore stories and topics that will stretch your child’s imagination!

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*This is a sponsored post, but opinions are always my own.

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