Helping your children learn to read is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Reading skills open the doors to every type of learning. Creating a life long learner begins by creating a life long reader. It is important to take a multi-faceted approach to the issue. First you need to realize that this process starts when your child is an infant. The US Department of Education offers a guide on how to incorporate activities to help your child to read from birth to six years. You can also learn several activities at About.com’s Child Parenting site.
Reading to your child on a daily basis can help your child when it comes time to read. As your children grow you should begin exposing them to letters and letter sounds. You can do this as you read, but also through the types of programs that your children watch on television, as well as through the types of toys that you buy for your children.
Babycenter offers tips on helping your preschooler develop pre-reading skills.
Great School’s article Prepare Your Preschooler to Read offers suggestions on how to incorporate these skills into everyday learning activities. You can also use these four pre-reading games suggested by Family Education.com.
Children learn to read at different rates, but you should expect them to begin to learn to read sometime during kindergarten. You can work with your child’s teacher to incorporate these ideas at home. The National Institute for Literacy offers this guide with ways to help incorporate you child’s classroom learning into your family time.
Additionally you can encourage reading skills through the computer games and television shows you allow your children to play and watch. Choosing educational shows over straight entertainment can help your children learn more quickly. If your child is struggling you may consider using a phonics program to supplement school reading programs.
Choosing educational forms of entertainment, including reading, is a great way to introduce different subjects that may become the child's job some day. Some kids simply cannot resist the temptation to take things apart, signaling the possibility he or she may be interested in studying mechanical engineering online or in a classroom setting some day. Cautious children may find the study of fire and safety engineering online to be the catalyst for a career. Children who seem to always ask why may find forensic psychology to be an ideal career fit when they grow up and the compassionate child may stretch his or her people skills with a masters of social work or PhD in clinical psychology to help others in need some day.
By reading a broad range of topics and genres to your child today, you are shaping the adult of the future. Reading is certainly lots of fun but it's also quite informative in a number of ways.
Children’s Games and Television Shows that Promote Reading Skills
Starfall offers many reading games from the Pre-reader to the Reader
Between the Lions at PBS kids offers a show and online games.
SuperWhy at PBS Kids offers both a television show and online games that teach your children reading skills.
WordWorld offers a website with games, toy products, and a television show that teaches children basic reading skills.
Kaboose Reading Games for ages six and up/
Kaboose Reading Games for ages three to six
Gamequarium.com’s Reading Games
Reading Guides for Parents
Reading Rockets offers guides for parents.