Reading and speaking to our children, from a very young age, will help develop future readers! Here is a list of five ways we can teach language to our children. They are easy, quick, and fun for both parent and child. I encourage you to begin setting aside time to read with your child today!
Learning language doesn’t begins once your child is in “school” — it starts at their first breath! They are listening and watching us. Even a newborn infant benefits from book time. Baby associates reading with comfort and learns valuable language skills. The first book I read to my son was The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown — and from that day on, I vowed that I would read and speak to him each day.
It is a wonderful and beautiful past time to snuggle up with my always-too-busy boy and help him take some moments to relish in a good story full of imagination and wonder. Children learn to read long before they are formally taught. Each and every word they are read to or spoken to impacts their future.
5 important ways to teach language
1. Read to your child every day.
This is the foundation for giving your child a valuable start in life. The more books in the home, the more successful they will become. The more they are read to each day, the more income they will make and the less likely they are to get in trouble with the law! (You can check out some of these valuable statistics here.) Here are 10 Reasons to read to our children:
- Connect reading with comfort
- Develop behaviors towards literacy
- Build a broad vocabulary
- Comprehend new ideas
- Connect themselves to text
- Understand letters make words and stories
- Inform themselves about the world around them
- Read nurturing poetry
- Promote enthusiasm for reading
- Create family experiences
2. Speak and listen to your child.
Children are orally taught valuable listening and learning skills before any reading instruction takes place. Understanding how to orally teach phonological and phonemic awareness to young children is very simple and fun! Don’t let those big words fool you! This awareness refers to the knowledge of sounds within language.
3. Practice rhyming with your child.
Learning rhyming skills produces a broad understanding of whole language before focusing on individual letter sounds, or phonemes. This can easily be done while cooking dinner or during short or long car ride trips! You can download free Rhyming Prompt Cards here.
4. Read rhyming books together.
Reading books that rhyme with your child is valuable quality time spent. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss! Here is a long list of high-quality, recommended Books that Rhyme with a free printable list!
5. Develop an interest in reading
Anna shared 5 Reading skills that are needed before a child can begin reading, or sounding it out, in her fantastic post on early reading. They include:
- Concepts of print
- Learning and listening skills
- Letter knowledge
- Phonemic and phonological awareness
- Interest in learning to read
We are given such an amazing opportunity to help our children develop their language skills. There is no need to feel intimidated about this! All we have to do, as parents and caretakers, is read and speak to our children! Provide quality books, rhyme together, and most importantly, have fun! Developing a lifelong love of learning and reading will benefit your child for a lifetime to come! I hope this list of ways to develop language skills has been beneficial to you and your future readers!
Amy Smith, M.Ed., writes about homeschooling at Wildflower Ramblings. As a former kindergarten teacher, she is passionate about interest-based learning and literacy. You can download her free eBook Early Literacy Stages or free ABC Lego Cards. You can connect with Amy on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Pinterest.