I had no idea how the child learnt to read when I had my first child. I liked to read fun stories books to her before her bedtime to cultivate the love of reading in her. Dr. Seuss books were her favorite books. She often asked me to read over and over again the same book. Sometimes, she could recite the phrases when we came to certain part of the story. When she went to pre-school, the pre-school taught her about phonics and she had to practice writing simple words of 3 letters. That’s how she learnt to read. At age 5, when I bought Scholastic series books from A to Z, she suddenly could recognize the words and started to read independently. Then, I found out the magic of Key words. So, I bought Key words with Ladybird book series. She could finish the series up to level 10 in one year. I suddenly realize that a child can read with LOOK-SAY method rather than learning PHONICS.
With my first child, I used the approach READ TO YOUR CHILD. I read the book and my child just looked at the printed words and listened to me. When I had my second child, I changed the approach to READ WITH YOUR CHILD. I gave her a chance to recognize one or two Key words and encourage her to read them. We took turn to read. This approach worked well. I used Key words With Ladybird book series to teach her to read with the LOOK-SAY method when she was 3 years old. Key words are the frequent words used in the reading and writing of English language. It’s wonderful to know how a child knows its sound and the meaning of the word and memorize the whole word. When she sees it again after few times, she can say it correctly. It’s like a photographic memory.
I know that pre-school emphasizes more on PHONICS method to teach children to read and write at the same time while enrichment program such as reading and writing program, uses LOOK –SAY method for faster result in reading. But you can use both methods together.
Tips for parents to encourage early reading in children:
- Choose books with the big word prints.
- Choose books which have fun story inside and repeated phrases. This kind of books appeal to the children.
- Use various books. Some books have phonics method, some have Key words and some have simple story context.
- The phonics book teaches a child the sound of the word correctly. It does help in writing and reading when a child knows the sound of each letter that makes up the word. Starfall is the site to learn phonics and first reading with PHONICS. I would prefer use PHONICS method to teach my children to write.
- Books with LOOK-SAY method and lots of Key words enable a child to capture the whole meaning of the word and say it.
- Read with enthusiasm. If the story is about the giant, you can read it in a big voice and do the action to make reading fun.
- Involve your child in reading. You can stop at certain words to give a chance for a child to read. When your child can read well, you can take a turn in reading page by page.