Learning letters can be fun for children. But the real challenge comes when they start joining alphabets and sounding words. It can get a little confusing for your child to understand why ‘cut’ and ‘put’ don’t sound the same or why ‘know’ and ‘no’ sound exactly the same. But from fun activities to online learning games, there are a lot of ways to help them learn. Here are some easy tips to help your child develop excellent reading skills and vocabulary.
Let your child copy the way you speak. This will help them learn the sound of words that will later help them when they start spelling words. Make sure that you make correct usage of words so that your child can learn fast. For example, when speaking in front of your child, use ‘going to’ instead of ‘gonna’ or ‘what are you doing’ instead of ‘whatcha doing’. Remember that this is the formative stage. If they hear different usage of words at school and at home, it can confuse them and slow down their progress. If required, speak to their teacher so that you can continue the learning process at home. Games like Simon Says are a good way to make them follow your pronunciation in a fun way.
Whether at school or at home, encourage your child to read along and turn reading time into a fun and effective reading game time. If it is a story that they have heard a lot of times before, they will repeat a lot of it from memory instead of actually reading the words. But this will help them associate the words to the sounds. This will also help you interact better with your child because they will feel involved and needed. Give them a reward, like their favourite snack, every time they read without making any mistakes. This will encourage them to improve and work harder.
Don’t discard old newspapers and magazines. Instead turn them into fun spelling games for your children. Pick a letter and encourage them to find that letter throughout a page. Now help them identify words that use that letter and sound similar. For example, if your child has found all the ‘O’s’ on the page, let them now associate it with sounds like ‘got’, ‘not’, etc. This way your child will develop a strong word association skill. Let them colour all the words that they find so that it remains engaging and colourful for them.
Start simple and easy. Choose easy words that have straight sounds like ‘aah’, ‘buh’, etc. For example, if your child is spelling the words bus, then break it into sounds like ‘buh’ and ‘saa’. This will make it easy for children to spell words and remember them the next time. Start with small words and move on to bigger words where the sound can be easily broken down. Once your child is confident of the sound then they can also read other words by sound association even if the spelling is different. So, if they have learnt ‘bus’, they can also read ‘us’ and ‘dust’.
With kids spending more and more time online, why not utilise that time to teach them reading? Find out the right reading game with interesting characters and engaging sound effects where your child can learn as they play. These are most useful for times when your children are on their own. Instead of spending time playing aggressive games that teach nothing, encourage them to play fun learning games that will also help with their schoolwork.
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