Here at Elephant Books we believe in children reading. That’s why we’ve assembled some of our favorite articles on fostering reading in one place.
Reading with your child is one of the most fun and fruitful things that you can do with them. It helps their development, aids in language acquisition, promotes creativity, and so much more.
Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to best support your child on their journey to becoming a confident and skilled reader. That’s why we have compiled a list of resources and reading tips to help parents support their emergent readers.
To learn more about how reading can impact your child, check out our article all about encouraging kids to read.
You can also visit these pages for more reading resources:
Science of Reading
Scholars have determined that there are five essential aspects of reading.
- Phonemic Awareness: the ability to recognize that sounds come together to form syllables and words
- Phonics: understanding the sounds that different letters make
- Vocabulary Development: being able to remember the meaning and pronunciation of words
- Reading Fluency: a reader’s speed, accuracy, and expression, as well as the ability to recognize and understand words at the same time
- Reading Comprehension: a combination of the other four skills, allowing readers to understand a text
Our Philosophy on Reading
Here at Elephant Books, we believe that reading is such an important and magical experience for every child. Traveling to new worlds and embarking on adventures is an amazing way to bond with your child. Snuggling up and reading a book together will create memories that last a lifetime. And, even more than that, showing your child the importance of reading will demonstrate how valuable it is and will encourage them to engage in many different types of books and reading activities. There are so, so many benefits to reading, and getting them started early will only help them succeed and come to love reading.
Important Things to Remember when Supporting Emergent Readers
Like we said, the idea of supporting your child’s growth as a reader can be daunting. But everything will be okay. Your child will learn to read, and the best thing you can do is to be there for them and to support them in their journey.
- Practice makes perfect
Even if your child is not where you feel like they should be, that is okay. Just keep practicing and reading together and they will gain the skills that they need to succeed. Some things just take time, and continuing to work together will bring your child up to speed.
- Confidence is Key
When you are reading with your child, be sure to use a lot of encouragement and praise. If they feel like they cannot read, they will not want to continue working towards improvement. They need to know that their best is more than good enough, and, with encouragement from you, they will know that they can succeed in reading.
- Every Child is Different
Every child is different, and every child develops differently. If your child has not hit milestones for their age group–that is okay. If they cannot identify letters or read sight words at the same time as their peers–that is okay. They might just need a little boost or a little more time to practice before they achieve these same milestones. Just keep encouraging them and keep reading.
- Choice is Everything
Letting your child choose what books you read together can make a world of difference. If they are not interested in the material, they won’t want to keep reading. Think about your child’s interests–whether they be dinosaurs or the moon or mermaids–and find books that match those. Have your child help you pick out new books at the store or at the library that they find interesting.
Developmental Milestone Resources
At different stages of development, children usually hit different milestones and have different skills when it comes to reading. Choose the age group that your child falls under to find out more about how they should be developing in their reading journey, so you can get started on creating a life-long reader.
Developmental Milestones of Kids Ages 0-2
Children at this age are just beginning to learn about the world around them. Reading can help introduce them to new things, whether that be colors and shapes, numbers and letters, animals and nature, or people and places. They will also begin to develop language and communication, and hearing new words and stories will only help them to acquire more tools.
Developmental Milestones of Kids Ages 3-4
Children in this age group typically will begin to learn the alphabet and might even begin to recognize simple words, as well as their names. Reading can help expand their vocabulary, promote creativity, develop empathy, and learn about new ideas and concepts. Reading is also a great way for this age group to slow down, practice concentration, and spend time with their loved ones.
Developmental Milestones of Kids Ages 5-6
Children at this age are beginning to read common words and simple sentences. They will continue to develop their ability to recognize letters, sound out words, write their names, and write the alphabet. They are able to sit through longer, more complex stories, and reading can help them grow a lot in terms of critical thinking, problem-solving, and remembering.
Here are some other valuable resources that to keep your child engaged while reading, provide insight into picking the very best books, and introduce activities that will help with your young reader’s literacy journey.
Reading Tips for Parents
Reading with your child from a young age has great benefits, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve compiled a list of tips that will help keep your young reader engaged and will foster a lifelong love of reading. Each tip includes a link to give you more in-depth information and examples on how to use that tip during reading time.
A Guide to Selecting Great Books
Working with materials that your child finds interesting is so important. If they are not captivated by the content of a book, they will be less inclined to want to read it. Allowing a child to choose what they read and selecting books based on their own interests can make all the difference in a child’s eagerness to read. Here are a few resources for finding great books on all kinds of topics and interests.
Reading Activities for Kids
There are so many ways to develop essential literacy skills aside from sitting down and reading a book. This page contains a few resources of alternative educational games and activities that will help support your child’s literacy development and get them excited about reading.
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