When it comes to reading, we at HECOA start with the end goal and work backwards. This seems a little unconventional for parents who are taught by society to believe that the sooner a child can read, the smarter and wiser the child will be. And yet, schools who are forcing children to read before they are ready are not seeing the results that they predicted. Schools are primarily focused on test scores. This does nothing to create intelligence. It merely conditions tiny humans to be able to regurgitate (mostly useless) information. They are generally taught what to read and what to think - versus how to think.
There are many experts who have differing opinions as to what to read, how to read, and when to read. But no matter when you start, it is good to keep in mind your end goal. Are you merely wanting to create a child who can regurgitate information? Or do you want a child who knows how to think? This will help you in determining when to begin, and what to begin with.
We feel that the best thing that a parent can do to teach a child to read, is to read WITH the child. Parents who read often and set the example that learning is fun and exciting, will yield better results. Reading classical literature and from classic authors helps to teach children how to think, ponder, and analyze.
Reading aloud is the BEST way to increase vocabulary (reading silently allows the reader to skim over important vocabulary and conventions). Reading aloud also increases knowledge in grammar usage and conventions, sentence structure, and helps with writing technique.
Again, we stress that reading ALOUD is the best way to teach a child to read, write, and think.
Some children will experience auditory or visual learning challenges which will make reading more difficult. There are many free resources to help with this, so don't feel as if your only hope is to put your kids into a public school for the free therapy. Keep in mind that special services tend to tell you what your child cannot do, versus what your child CAN do.
At HECOA, we often invite experts to come and share with you various techniques for teaching children to read, write, and analyze. We will announce when these free seminars are available. We also have special needs seminars throughout the year. You are not alone!
The following videos and articles are offered to PLUS members to help you inspire your children to read:
The following videos and articles are offered to PLUS members to help you set up a good foundation in your home for young pre-school aged children: