The importance of reading cannot be overestimated. Success in school, in social settings, and in future employment are all highly correlated to reading success.
If a child has a reading problem it’s crucial that it’s identified early. Early interventions can be set in place to help the student.
Statistics have shown that children with reading problems often drop out of school early. Without a diploma, finding a job is difficult. Their outlook for a bright and happy future has narrowed immensely.
While a young child who is learning to read will experience some of this, if it continues – with no signs of improvement - it’s time to talk to your child’s teacher.
If there’s a problem, the teacher has probably already contacted you. And, of course, any reading problem will be indicated on your child’s academic report card with a grade.
Classroom teachers have been trained and know what to do, but there are a few things you – as a parent - can do to help at home.
1. Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness – a prereading skill - is not phonics. It is auditory, so it doesn’t involve words in print.
Phonemes are the smallest units of speech sound.
The child becomes aware of phonemes when he can hear, identify, and think about them.
What you can do …
Does your child understand that written letters have spoken sounds? This refers to phonics.
Knowing the letters and their sounds helps the child recognize familiar words. This also helps him to decode new words.
First, teach the sounds of each letter!
Next, teach the sounds that blended letters make!