Reading. One of the most important skills your preschooler could ever learn.
As I make my way down this path of raising my children, I realize with each passing year just how important reading is for school and life in general. Thankfully, my two oldest are bona-fide bookworms! They love reading and are passing that love on to the next siblings in line. I am quite sure that their love of reading has made my homeschooling job — heck, even my parenting job — so much easier.
There are lots of little things that you can do to help your non-readers grow up to love reading.
I cannot stress this enough! Even though your infant cannot understand all the words you are reading, you are teaching her about communication, about the world around her, and helping to build listening skills. You don’t wait to talk to your child until she can carry on a conversation – don’t wait to read to her until you think she can understand. From the very start of her life, your little one’s favorite things are being close to you and hearing your voice. The more often you can mix those favorite things with books, the stronger her love for books will be.
Make It Fun.
Let him pick out the book – let him pick out five books!
Have A Special Place.
My oldest son really fell in love with reading when I set up a reading corner for him. There were pillows and blankets, a bin of books and a good light. He absolutely loved to cozy up there and take out his books.
Make every book you read interesting! Even it’s the 100th time you’ve read it or a book that you aren’t particularly fond of – they will absorb in all! My husband likes to joke around with the kids when they ask him to read – he will read everything in a very plain monotone voice. The kids roll their eyes and say “Daaaaaaaaad! That’s not how Mommy does it!”
Follow Along The Words With Your Finger.
This teaches left to right reading – they don’t come with that automatically built in!
Draw the child’s attention to the actual print.
If you have lots of books with bright colors and fabulous illustrations, your budding reading is probably paying lots more attention to those pictures than the words on the page. But, in order to learn to read, they need to look at the actual words. So, ask questions about the words, point to the words and talk about them occasionally. In order to not frustrate your little one, read the book through as you normally would and let them soak in the beautiful artwork. Then, go back through and place more attention on the words.
Here are some free resources I found around the internet to help reinforce what you are teaching your little one: (Just don’t use these games as a replacement for sitting down and reading with them!)
StarFall – lots of reading games from the absolute youngest to the already-reading
StoryPlace PreSchool Library – I love this site! There are online stories and activities and companion printables and suggestions for other books to read! This is a whole unit that you could spend a full week on with your preschooler!
Activity Ideas from Education.com – Many different hands-on activities you can set up for your little one to do reinforce those reading concepts.
Scholastic Article – Scholastic put together this article for the classroom setting but many of the ideas will work for homeschooling as well.
Reading Rockets – lots of information on teaching reading from articles to videos and podcasts.
PBSKids – Tons of reading games!
Learning Games – this site has more than just reading games, but there are some games that will build those reading skills.
Some educational programs, curricula and products that I felt would be very beneficial to you as you teaching your sweetie how to read! Note: the following links are affiliate links – any purchases you make will go to support HomeGrownMommy and our family!
|Children Learning Reading – This product was created by a Daddy who wanted to teach his kids to read. His method worked so well, he transformed it into a product that he could share with others. The videos he has of his kids reading are so sweet – it is so nice to see a daddy working with his kids!|
|PreK Scholars – This is an exceptional preschool curriculum that covers the whole year for your little one! You can see the first lesson and course introduction for free. It covers all the areas to make sure you’ll be ready for Kindergarten next year!|
|ABC Fun & 1-2-3 – This is an awesome preschool curricula that I have been so blessed to be able to review! I cannot believe the amount of ideas that are contained in this huge set. It is very complete – everything you need for preschool and beyond. As a veteran homeschooling mom of 6, Shirley gives tons of encouragement and advice – it’s like having her over for coffee in your very own living room!|
|Alphabet Train – a fun and cute way to reinforce letter recognition from Melissa and Doug!|
|Alphabet Finger Puppet and Wall Chart – I love wall charts! They are up all the time and that repetition really sinks deep into your little reader’s brain!|
I was very nervous as a new homeschooling mom to attempt this huge challenge of teaching my children to read. It just seemed that a skill which would be so very important for the rest of their lives could be so easy to mess up.
If you are feeling the same way, remember that God built children with a drive to learn – it is essential for them. They learn without help! So, you’ll do fine – just follow your heart as you teach them and have lots of fun!
I hope this article has helped you as you begin this journey! Please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to share your experience to help some other mom!