Establishing literacy in children involves exposing them to spoken and written words in the world around them with activities such as sharedbook reading, and having one-on-one conversations with them. However, new findings in research are saying that this isn’t enough anymore. In fact, a study by Wasik&Hindman (2010) found that reading a book with a child only accounted for 10 percent of the variability of the child’s literacy skills. Instead, they found that skill-based involvement from a child’s parents can have a greater impact on their literacy development. But don’t put down the picture book just yet; there are more parents can do now than simply reading with their child to influence positive literacy development. Here are some of the activities you can do to help your child better comprehend words.
Set an example for your child by using their finger—as well as your own—to follow the words in a book as you read; this will help young children develop a higher awareness of the way words are written. It’s a way for them to understand how words are separated by spaces and read: left to right, continuing to the next line of text below.
While you are reading with your child, ask them to identify single letters or short words to establish a solid foundation for basic reading and sounds. This will help refresh their memory of sounds and what each letter looks like and how it functions in a full word.
Sight words are high-frequency words, words that are most often used in reading and writing. Often, these words are not as easy to sound out with beginning readers;If you come across a sight word, identify them with your child and help them read the word. Try to use pictures and illustrations to help them understand the word and its meaning. If your child understands sight words early on, they will easily recognize them as they continue to develop their reading and writing skills.
Instead of waiting until the end of a story to ask your child questions about the sequence of events that occurred or reviewing new words, feel free to ask in-between parts of a story. This will help your child connect new vocabulary words to their memory and understand and remember what is currently happening in the story as it continues. Doing this with your child will promote literacy development as well as basic reading comprehension skills.