Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reading Roadblocks

Writing systems are codes for SPOKEN LANGUAGE. Teaching your child a, b, c ... z(letter names) is the FIRST ROADBLOCK to reading. Letter names(ay, bee, cee) has no relationship whatasoever to the sound of speech these letters represent.

So STOP teaching your children abc. STOP forcing them to memorize & recite the alphabet. STOP making them memorize the upper & lower-case letters.

There is a BETTER way for the children to learn the alphabet. Teach them the SOUNDS.

You could use Cory Cat Phonics Song (VCD). We make learning speech sounds fun by associating the sound with an action. The Cory Cat VCD also comes with a set of flashcards and a colouring book.

Steps to introduce a sound:
1. Say 'buh' a few times.
2. Encourage your child to say after you.
3. Then show the symbol/letter 'b'. Point to the symbol and say "This is 'buh'.
4. Ask "What is this sound?"
5. Sing Bobby Bear b b b as you & your child pretend to bounce a ball.

Many parents ask me what other helpful activites can they do with their children to help them learn to read.

My suggestions:
1. TALK to your child.
Use good language. Don't use baby talk. For parents whose child's first language is NOT English, one of you has to use English most(if not all) of the time. According to research, Reading Accuracy & Fluency are enhanced if the word you are decoding(reading) already exist in the memory.

2. READ to your child.
Reading to your child will not only enrich her language but also familiarize him with the format of books. You could trace along the text with a finger as you read to your child. Thus training your child that reading is from left to right and from top to bottom.

3. DEVELOP your child's fine motor skills.
Developing your child's fine motor skills will help his eye-hand coordination which is very important when learning to read. Good fine motor skills will also enhance his writing skills. Give him lots of opportunities to roll playdough into small balls, squeeze water form a sponge, tear scrap papers, lace beads, play with blocks/puzzles & finger paint.

Don't miss the opportunity to HELP your child learn to read.

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