Should I Teach My Child to Read Before Kindergarten?
From the time our children are born, we track their milestones: sitting up, crawling, walking, talking. Once little ones hit the preschool years, it’s not uncommon to turn our attention to reading, and the question we all ponder: “Should I teach my child to read before kindergarten?”
Teaching your child to read early has numerous benefits, including increased confidence in learning ability that can lead to future academic success. Learning to read early in life can result in higher test scores and better job opportunities. Even better, when parents are engaged in their child’s education, it can lead to a lifelong love of learning.
The Benefits of an Early Start To Reading
While it’s tempting to let teachers lay the groundwork for this essential life skill, teaching children the basics of reading before they start kindergarten can reap numerous benefits, including:
Developmental: Children learn at a much faster pace during the first six years than at any other time in their lives. When a child is taught to read before kindergarten, it has a profound influence on brain development.
Educational: Early reading opens the door to academic success. Research shows that reading together as early as six months can help improve a child’s ability to read. Reading books aloud with children results in a stronger vocabulary and the ability to create more complex sentences, even more so than engaging in play or watching educational TV shows.
Psychological: Children who learn to read at home have the benefit of learning in a stress-free environment. Reading books together improves engagement and encourages children to ask questions. This helps develop confidence, curiosity, and independence that can carry over into future learning.
Value of Parental Engagement
Nothing compares to the parent-child bonding moment of one-on-one time that comes from reading together. Once in the classroom, teachers can only dedicate so much time and attention to each student. However, that supplemental attention at home helps set early readers up for future success.
Research supports the notion that parent engagement is more essential to student success than income or education level. In fact, the National PTA’s book Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide for Developing Parent and Family Involvement Programs indicates that the best predictor of student success is family involvement in their children’s education.
Children begin to develop language skills by being read to and spoken to. One of the keys to teaching children reading early on is by exposing them to alphabet letters and reading to them often. Once your child learns to speak, you can begin teaching them to read at home. The more you interact with and talk to your little ones, the quicker they will learn to read.
I Don’t Want To Force My Child To Learn To Read Too Early
Parents often say that they don't want to push their child too hard when it comes to reading before kindergarten. To the contrary, learning to read offers young children the opportunity to learn, discover and enjoy the wonders of learning. Teaching children to read before kindergarten helps set them up for long-term success. A head start to reading can only work out in their favor.
Reading can be fun for kids. In fact, we’ve discovered, through 17 years of in-classroom observations, that most kids really like reading and being read to. Reflecting on their own experiences learning to read, many parents wonder why they should spend time or money teaching children a skill that will eventually happen anyway once they’re in school. If, as a parent, you view reading as a chore, it’s all too tempting to pass that mindset onto your kids. However, if you approach early reading as bonding time, it’s an entirely different experience for both parent and child
It’s Never Too Late For An Early Start
Regardless of how old your child is, starting a reading program before kindergarten can reap awesome benefits. It starts as early as infancy, by talking, singing and reading to your baby. Once children start to speak, parents can begin teaching basic letter sounds. After learning just a few letters and their sounds, children are ready to learn simple blends that eventually create words.
The cornerstone of what makes Learning Dynamics so effective are the 53 full-color books that come with every kit. There is simply no substitute for real books when learning to read. While apps are great at reinforcing concepts, they are too distracting to teach the core principles of reading. Learning Dynamics combines traditional books with short, multi-sensory lessons so your child can build their library while they build their reading skills.
Don’t leave your child’s reading success to chance. The truth is that there’s no substitute for spending quality time reading to your child, and that’s an important component of the Learning Dynamics Reading System.