7 tips for teaching a fidgety child how to read.
Children want to learn how to read, but let’s face it, sometimes it feels like work. In the early lessons, there are some basics that need to be covered before the real fun begins. Learning all the sounds of the alphabet can take a long time for some kids, but until they know those, they don’t get to enjoy sounding out words and, well, reading.
When you are working with your child (on anything, for that matter!), does she wiggle a lot? Does he want to talk about what he found on the bottom of his shoe the other day? Does she look at everything but what you are trying to show her?
If so, good! Your child is perfectly normal. And fortunately, teaching reading with phonics is simple, straight-forward and works like building blocks. Over time, even the most distracted pupil can learn how to read.
7 tips to help you teach a child to read.
But until that happens, here are 7 tips for keeping your child focused on what you are trying to do:
You CAN teach your child to read—even fidgety ones.
In any reading program, the lessons really must stick to a 5 minute limit to accommodate the short attention span of a small child. (Or a busy mom!) One of the biggest downfalls is the overzealousness of the parent. It’s tempting to keep pushing everything along so that you can start seeing results.
If this is how you feel, please don’t rush your child. There are no deadlines. Try to remember that each lesson is a time of enrichment, not measured success. 'Showing off' your child's reading skills to friends and family may put undue pressure on her. Believe me, as your child's confidence grows, she will proudly display on her own what she has learned!
Add to these 7 tips! I'd love to hear how you have helped your child sit still. Leave a comment.
Children's books do something to you.
Do children's book titles hold the same enchantment for you as they do for me?
Anne of Green Gables, The Long Winter (Laura Ingalls Wilder), The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, The Little Princess (or Sara Crewe), All-of-a-Kind Family, The Secret Garden, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
I imagine you have your own list.
For me, these mere words take me back to the world I dreamed up as a kid. A happy world. One that had cozy houses (which all looked the same in my mental construct), bosom friends (to quote the aforementioned Anne) and kids that got to be the star of their own show.
Stuff I always wanted.
Sure, bad things happened. But deep down, I knew that all would be well in the end. Even if someone died. It was just a matter of finding the good in it, which most of the characters managed to do.
Children’s books do that for kids. They create threads of feeling inside that stick with them, sometimes for life. They put a frame in place that helps children respond in a more thoughtful way to the real-life story that is happening around them.
Kids who read learn how to cope
Sometimes, real-life stories have more drama going on than the ones in children’s books. But happy endings in books give young readers hope. It empowers them. If Sara Crewe can rise above her bleak fate (even before she gets rich in the end), maybe I can, too.
Well-written, beautifully illustrated books for young readers also help you as a parent. (Sure—go ahead and read them! But that’s not where I was going with this.)
First of all, voracious young readers can keep themselves busy (and quiet) for hours at a stretch.
But even more, books offer comfort. And big ideas. A book is a friend—especially for the child who could use one. Books don’t judge you. They take you places. And they inspire kids to think in a less linear fashion than they typically do.
A good book can flesh out all of the great things you want your children to know but aren’t quite sure how to tell them.
Which is why it’s so critical that every child learn how to read.
Welcome to my blog
This is my first entry in a blog about reading, writing and kids. Three of my favorite things, which seems like a pretty good way to pick what you’re going to blog about.
We’ll talk about reading and children’s books. We’ll share anecdotes, ideas and tips about Teach Your Child to Read™, my phonics-based reading program for teaching young children to read. And writing! If you love to write (especially for kids), be sure to sign up so we can send the blog straight to your inbox.
And at any time, I would love to hear from you. This is a much better journey when taken in good company.
And so the story begins.
Tell us about some of your favorite children's books!
Speaking of Kids
Online phonics program blog: Musings, stories, and tips about teaching, reading, and parenting.
ABOUT MARY FOLLIN
Mary is the author of TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ and ETHYR, winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award and the Gertrude Warner Book Award. She is mom to two grown sons and enjoys sharing her more seasoned perspective with parents of younger children.
ABOUT KRISTI CROSSON
Kristi is a professional photographer and homeschooling mom of three small children. She has a passion for helping other moms make healthy choices for themselves and their families. To learn more about Kristi, please visit her website.
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