Thursday, February 10, 2011
Is your Child Ready to Read?
When I worked for Surrey Public Library in the childrens' department, we all ran Ready to Read programs, designed to help new parents help their children with the early stages of reading. Mums and dads would come wide eyed and eager to learn all they could, about how their child was going to READ. We HAD to have some magical formula!
One of the questions I get asked the most by new homeschool mums' is "How do I know if my child is ready to read?" Many children will only learn to read once the pre-reading skills are in place. For that to happen certain levels of reading skills need to be in place. These include phonemic awareness, letter and sound recognition, tracking ability, and visual processing skills. Bar learning disabilities, or physical development, that may take longer for some than others.
I remember the sheer joy and exhilaration when my son learned to read in grade 3. I was so thankful to God. In his earlier years when he struggled to put letters together and make sense of sequence, I would cry out to God in exasperation. You see I thought as a teacher, I would somehow magically make him read. I did all the right teaching things, taught him nursery rhymes, played alphabet games, and read so many books to him.... But God needed to show me that this was out of my control, and I needed some extra help. Had I known about homeschooling at that stage, I would have brought him home right there and then. It was not until Matt had all the pre- reading skills in place in grade 3, (with some extra help with decoding letters and tracking re-inforcement), that he was able to read. Today he reads beautifully and I am so PROUD of him!
I wanted to encourage all of our Kindergarten mums who fearfully wonder how their students will ever learn to read- to remember that God has a special timing for all of your children, to read and acquire the cognitive skills necessary for the first few years of school. There is no special time frame to learn to read in homeschooling. Your child will read when he or she is ready.
Reading Rockets has excellent videos for teaching younger students, not only the acquisition of the alphabet and sounds, but also how to sequence those sounds and isolate phonemes. Many of the videos are geared for struggling readers. If you are at all concerned about your child's reading or pre-reading skills, speak with your individualised teacher or learning assistance teacher, for some excellent ideas to get you going.
Blessings to you