If you’re like the majority of parents, you have worried about your child’s development and education to some degree. If you have, rest assured it’s perfectly normal and even healthy to fret a bit about something so important. As a result of being concerned, it is more likely that you will find out information along the way such as the fact that children who get a jump start on reading tend to do better in school.
You may want to teach your child to write and read because you are aware of how beneficial it is to them, but you may feel you are unqualified to do so. That is completely natural too.
But even more concerning is the blatant fact that the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, has reported recently that more than a third of fourth grade students aren’t functioning on a basic reading ability level. The actual number is 38% which is alarming and unacceptable. Your ultimate concern as a parent should be if your own child will be in that delayed reading percent. Hopefully not.
There is something you can do to help ensure that your child is not handicapped with below average reading skills. Teaching phonemic awareness at an early age has been proven to help prevent reading problems and gives children a boost that lasts the entirety of their school years. Even if you are feeling less than confident, isn’t it worth taking a step out of your comfort zone to give your child the gift of a head start? We think it is.
Endless studies confirm that it is imperative for reading to start early in a child’s life in order to maximize the benefits. Initial lessons can come by way of simply learning the alphabets, or a mere letter or sound here and there. Then, letters are combined to make words and words are put together to create sentences. Paragraphs are formed and stories can come to life. Teaching your young child to read also starts with the introduction to nursery rhymes, books, and songs. Even talking to your youngster is conducive to teaching them to read.
Once a child understands language, he or she can be taught to read. It is not unheard of for kids as young as two to learn to actually read. In order to teach a child reading at such a young age, you’ll need a little help. Don’t worry though. Help is available through a stellar program that implements the use of all the best methods associated with phonemics.
About a century ago, a woman named Lida Williams explained that phonics is not merely a method for teaching kids to read, but a very necessary component of each and every excellent, modern method. In itself, it is just a part of the mastery of words. It is an essential part of the art of teaching a child to learn to read. Knowing the letters’ sounds and what the letter’s position means is key in the magical process of teaching a child to read. But, it is just a portion of the potion.
A century later, the words certainly are still true. There continues to be debates on which method is best in teaching young children to read, phonics or the method of whole language. Learning language as a whole involves a child memorizing words and remembering the shapes of words which doesn’t hold a candle, in the opinion of many experts, to the method of actually being able to sound out letters and combination of letters in order to make words and then sentences.
It is vital to know and distinguish what is different between phonemic awareness and phonological awareness. The two are often thought of as being one and the same. But that is not true. While phonological awareness entails a broad spectrum with sub categories, phonemic awareness is narrowly focused on letters and their individual sounds. Tons of studies point to the fact that phonemic awareness is priceless when it comes to teaching youngsters to read at very early ages.
Phonological awareness is ultra-important. It is the phonics awareness sub-category, however, that is the diamond in the mix. Phonics awareness is the backbone for teaching little children to read early while phonological awareness is simply the broad category phonics falls under.
The method of whole language is one that places expectations on a child to read whatever material is presented to them by remembering sight words. While it is used in many settings, overwhelming evidence suggests it isn’t the best method of learning reading. On the contrary, the method of phonics relies on introducing sequential and logical order to the process by teaching the letters of the alphabet and their sounds.
Once those things are learned, it is easy and natural for your child to be taught to blend the sounds of the letters in order to form words. Then, reading the words as sentences is added. The progression of teaching makes sense in the brain of a child, therefore they are able to decode words on their own and they learn to sound out and pronounce words too. This awesome and practical method also teaches children to spell properly.
Undoubtedly, instruction in phonemic and phonics awareness is the optimal method of learning when it comes to teaching wee ones to read and therefore, how to write. It is a tried and true method that countless studies have proven to be extremely effective. Regardless of where the study originates, the results continue to prove the worth of the phonics method of teaching young children to read.
Children as young as two years of age have learned to read through the letters and words that give way to knowledge of sentences and easy stories. Our simple program can teach your child to read too. Click to find out more about this step-by-step lesson planner and set your child on the path of having the upper edge of learning the skill of reading at an early age.
1. NAEP 1998 Reading Report Card for the Nation and the States
Authors: Patricia L. Donahue, Kristin E. Voelkl, Jay R. Campbell, and John Mazzeo