Parents teach their children from day one and are instrumental in helping children get ready to read. You can begin reading to babies from the first day they are born. Children learn to associate being read to with being cared for by adults. When adults are role models for reading, kids follow their lead! Children learn best by doing and they love doing things with their parents and caregivers!
Children need to learn two key skills to begin reading: decoding and comprehension.
- Noticing print
- Knowing the letter names and sounds
- Hearing the sounds that make up words
In order to learn how to decode words, children also need to know how a book works. By reading books, children will learn how to open books, turn pages, and will follow the words from left to right if you point to them as you read aloud.
- Knowing what words mean (vocabulary)
- Understanding the meaning of printed words.
The more language children experience, even from the baby stage, the more they will learn the meaning of words. This can include spoken or signed words! To become successful readers, children need to understand the meaning of what they read. Parents and caregivers help them build those skills every day!