Reading is one of the most empowering tools that you can give to your child. Reading allows a child to experience magical new places, interesting new characters, and encourages them to be creative and implement the use of their imagination. In addition to this, reading provides children with the resources that they need to succeed as adults as well. Pre-reading development is the first stage to reading. Here, you will learn some important strategies to pre-reading development for homeschoolers.
The first thing that you can do as a homeschool parent when it comes to pre-reading development is to get excited. Get REALLY excited! You should motivate your child to read because it is fun and exciting. If you are excited about reading, your child is sure to see that excitement and want to take part in it. You should allow your child to see you reading and enjoying it. You can read anything, everything! Cereal boxes, books, the newspaper, signs, recipes, board games, puzzles, jokes, and more! In addition to increasing excitement, your homeschool student will start to notice the letters and words that surround him or her.
There is no set age or grade level in which a child should begin reading. However, as a parent, it is important to build the value of reading as soon as your child is born. Children should be in a positive environment that encourages learning and reading. It is not necessary to push a child to read simply because they are at “that age”. If you push a child to read, and show any signs of disappointment when they cannot meet your expectations, you are only delaying the process even longer.
Many parents see that their homeschooled child really wants to learn, but simply cannot comprehend the subject appropriately. It is important to understand that each child has a different learning style. Some children are visual learners, and some are auditory learners. There are some children who are tactile, or hands on, learners. By knowing your homeschool student’s learning style, you will be able to customize lessons of reading geared around this style of learning more appropriately.
Pre-reading development entails many different approaches. The first approach has already been mentioned, and that is getting excited about reading and allowing your child to see and experience that excitement for themselves. The second step is to introduce your child to music. Many homeschool families do not know the benefits that music can provide to the child that is learning to read. However, singing songs, saying rhymes, and playing games with music can be an exciting introduction to the world of reading.
During pre-reading development, it is important to introduce your homeschool student to the alphabet. It is important to understand that, at first, your student will simply understand that these are just letters. Once your child becomes comfortable with the fact that the alphabet is made up of letters, it is important to start associating sounds with the letters. Explain to your child, that just as we each make sounds that are different as people, letters have their own unique sounds too. This will answer that popular little question of “why” that you will so often hear when trying to explain something to a young child.
Once your child starts to understand that the letters of the alphabet make certain sounds, you should then begin to introduce words to your child. These words should start with the letter sounds that they learned in the previous lesson. For example, “Ant” starts with the letter “A”, and so on. Many parents will play the market game with their child once they have been introduced to various words. The market is easy to play. The parent will start off by saying “I am going to the market to buy an apple”, and then the child will go to the market for something that starts with the letter “B”, and so on.
Once your homeschool child is comfortable with letters, letter sounds, and knows some words that start with each sound, you can begin to introduce various sight words. These are words that are used consistently in the English language. Some examples include:
Naturally, this is a short list of essential sight words. You can visit your local library, or search the internet for a database of words that are considered to be “sight” words.
Pre-reading development in the homeschool classroom is extremely important. If you homeschool your child, it is important to ensure that you have a tailored method of teaching your child to read that is personal to them. This can help make the reading process fun and engaging for the homeschooled student!