As your child's first reading teacher, you're helping them learn a skill that will help them throughout school as well as in the workplace.
You'll be helping increase their vocabulary, stretch their imagination and learn about the world around them. And what better way to spend time with your child than snuggled up, sharing his or her favorite book and laughing over the same parts every time?
The following are tips on the best way to help your beginning reader, according to BabyCenter, Scholastic and PBS:
Repetition is helpful – and fun.
You may think, "Again?!" when your child thrusts his or her favorite book at you for what seems like the thousandth time. And you might wonder what he or she can be learning from having the same book read to them repeatedly. Repetition and familiarity are helpful, however, so don't hesitate to read the same book over and over.
And there's a reason why Dr. Seuss books are still so popular and helpful to beginning readers – they utilize repetition, rhymes and patterns to tell a compelling story. Look for books that stress rhyming and patterns like the Seuss titles or "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" for books that make it easy and fun for your beginning reader.
Read more than just books.
Books are great, of course, but opportunities for reading are almost everywhere. Encourage your beginning reader to look for and read familiar signs while you're out walking or in the car. Point out familiar words at places that you take your child, like the grocery store. Even the comics or a cereal box present an opportunity for your child to practice reading or point out familiar words.
Provide a comfortable place to read.
Give your child a comfortable place to read, with plenty of pillows and his or her own bookshelf with a variety of age-appropriate reading material that's always readily available. Also use an organizer on the back of the car seat to stash kid-friendly books and magazines so your child can reach for them on a car trip, even if it's just to the store or to pass the time at the doctor's office.
Practice print referencing.
Print referencing is an easy but important way to enforce early reading skills by helping children learn the basics that apply to every book. You can do this by pointing out print elements in the books you're reading.
For example, point to the title as you read it and do the same for the author's name. Run your finger under the words as you read them. This helps your child learn that each book has a title and author and that reading is done from left to right before proceeding down to the next line and to the next page.
Provide a good example.
Like many parts of parenting, providing a good example for your beginning reader is important. Show him or her that you like to spend time reading, since it shouldn't feel like a chore but should instead be seen as an enjoyable pastime. Your child should see you reading a variety of materials, looking forward to the next book by your favorite author and getting books from the library and bookstores. This makes your child much more likely to model the same behavior as he or she grows as a reader.