Learning to love reading can be one of the most important gifts we give to our children. Yet, all too often, the arduous process of learning to read can dampen a child’s desire to want to read for pleasure. For many parents, the past year of virtual learning has provided a spotlight onto children’s learning and highlighted for many how much work actually goes into learning to read.
The skill of reading can be broken down into multiple different skills, many of which need to be acquired in a certain order when children are learning to read. First, they need to develop the sounds of oral language, which includes understanding the phonological building blocks that make up sounds, which eventually make up words, which eventually make up sentences. Once children start learning their “A-B-C’s”, they start learning that the written squiggles and lines and circles that we use on paper actually represent the sounds that we speak and they begin to also learn that these letters represent a specific set of sounds that can be combined in seemingly infinite combinations to spell words. It’s a lot of learning condensed into a few short years!
This “code” of learning to read and write is not something that comes easily for most children and more and more research is uncovering how important it is to not skip steps and push children ahead. The most important assistance any parent can give a child who is learning to read is patience and access to fun and interesting reading materials.
The good news is that there are so many ways to find new reading materials locally without spending a dime!
- Little Free Libraries – on your neighbourhood walks, make a habit to visit Little Free Libraries on your block and check for new books each time! You never know what will spark a child’s interest in a book!
- Local Public Libraries – every child values their first library card! Take advantage of your library card to provide endless access to new books for your child.
- Free Book Banks – Local organizations like LAMP Early ON are providing free books to children under 5 with registration. Check out LAMP on Facebook for more information!
- Neighborhood Book Swaps – as it gets warmer, connect with your neighbors to organize weekly or monthly book swaps where children can exchange books with friends.
Don’t worry too much about finding levelled readers for your child. Instead, find books that will spark their imagination, interest and engagement. Any book that makes a child’s eyes light up is the best book for that child!
If you are looking for more ways to support your child’s reading or fill in gaps in their skill acquisition, contact Oak Learners to learn more about our personalized and unique approach to teaching literacy.
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