What Are the Best Early Reading Strategies?

What Are the Best Early Reading Strategies?
By Tiffany Washko

Has your child been showing an increasing interest in reading? Want to know the best early reading strategies to give her a head start on school? Here's an outline of the very best - and easiest - early reading strategies that you can use to help your child start building the foundation they need to start reading, giving them a head start on their education and development.

One of the best early reading strategies you can practice with your child is to read with them and as you repeat the words, follow along with your finger. When children first begin taking an interest in reading, they have little idea that those funny looking squiggles on the page actually mean something.

By following along as you read, perhaps even pausing to sound out a word or two on the way, you'll help your child to better grasp the concept of the fact that those marks on the page actually represent what is being read.

If you've already begun working with your child on recognizing her alphabet, then you can make this method even more effective by asking her if she can recognize any of the letters on the page. As she points to the letters she knows, make a point to sound them out, and repeat them along with their companions in whatever word is in question.

Another great early reading strategy is helping your child associate words with their picture counterparts. Children often have a difficult time understanding that words represent things - so by reinforcing the two together in their mind, you will help them to understand that the word and the picture are one and the same.

There are many flashcards you can purchase to help your child when it comes to word and picture recognition. Think about everything you've seen regarding "A is for Apple." In addition to the memorization a child must endure when it comes to remembering all of the many shapes and sounds of letters, it's important to remember that reading comprehension is an important part of the reading process as well.

One of the best early reading strategies is to help build your child's reading comprehension. You do this by reading a portion of their favorite story, and then asking them questions which will get them involved in the story.

As your child begins to build their ability to answer more questions about the portion of text in question, read longer portions of the book before stopping. Gradually increase the amount you read before asking questions about the story, until you're able to read the entire book and your child can still recall the parts of the story which correlate to the questions you ask.

The most important early reading strategy you can remember is to read to your child - often. The more you read to your child, the more words she will begin to understand, and the more of an interest she will take in the reading process. It's recommended that no less than 15 minutes a day be spent reading to your child - and more is always better when it comes to instilling a love of books in your child's heart.

Tiffany Washko is the homeschooling mom behind Nature Moms, http://www.naturemoms.com/blog and Instead of TV, http://www.insteadoftv.com After working several years in corporate healthcare marketing and public relations, she took time away to be a mother. This new pursuit lead her to a new passion, natural family living, homeschooling, and writing about environmental issues. She currently works as a freelance writer and newspaper journalist.

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