Monday, June 7, 2010

Reading Tip #1: Teach Your Child Phonics!

The best and easiest time for a child to learn a language is the first 5 years of their lives as their brain develops nearly 90% during those years. Some professionals even believe that children can start recognizing words as early as 7-8 months. The best program I've found so far in teaching your child how to read is PHONICS. Phonics is a method of teaching reading by sounding out letters to read words. All my students whom I have taught phonics to not only have excellent reading skills but they are incredible spellers as well. In fact, they can usually spell a word they have never seen before simply by hearing it. Most of the kids often place in the top 3 of their school's Spelling Bees. In particular, there's a company called Hooked on Phonics that have a great reading program. It can be slightly pricey but totally worth it.

Why is reading at such a young age so important? First of all, before your kids even start 1st grade, they usually have lots of time on their hands to burn. Giving them a headstart will boost their confidence for when they start school. Reading can also prove to be an enjoyable past-time. Studies have shown that when children can recognize words and read without frustration, they will spend more time reading and will actually enjoy it. Next, reading more often will increase your child's comprehension skills. By doing so, you will be helping them better comprehend not only their English subject, but all other subjects as well. As their comprehension levels increase, so will their writing skills. I believe the reason why so many of kids nowadays(you'll really see the difference in the high school and college years) have a tough time writing essays and reports is largely due because they did not start reading by themselves at an early age, hence do not enjoy reading as much, and end up not reading a lot. Reading exposes children and adults to different styles of writing and they can learn a lot from that. It also increases their vocab. skills as well as enhances their grammatical skills.

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