While no one questions the importance of learning how to read, what is up for debate is how enjoyable the process can be. While learning how to read may prove to be more difficult for some children than others, a happy start to reading, as well as a good reading programme, can lift the task of reading from onerous to enjoyable.
Educators have found that children learn best through play, and this is certainly true for reading as well. Unlike programmes of dry instruction or rote learning, reading activities that infuse playful elements can make learning seem like a game and a fun activity to be enjoyed. The more enjoyable the learning experience is for the child, the more engaged and motivated they will be to learn – factors that greatly increase the effectiveness of the learning process.
Most children begin learning how to read around five or six years of age (although there are certainly exceptions to this rule). For children younger than five, there are a host of pre-literacy activities to make learning how to read both easier and more enjoyable for the child:
Reading to or along with your child gives them a vocal model from which they can understand how to pronounce certain words, when to alter their tone, and when to pause for and emphasise punctuation. Simply speaking to your child is also very helpful, especially if you use new words that help develop their vocabulary.
Singing is another great way to provide kids with pre-literacy skills. The rhythm and metre of a song help kids remember the words, and the more words that kids know, the easier that learning to read will be.
A child’s first language is play – they learn a great deal about the world around them by engaging with things in a playful manner. It is also during a child’s play that parents and caregivers can engage with the child and speak to them about what they are doing, thereby building a child’s knowledge of the world as well as their vocabulary.
It’s very important to read to your child as often as you can. Setting aside part of the day every day for reading time will help your child get into the habit of reading. Regular practice is essential for all early readers.
It’s also very helpful to make use of a quality reading programme. The most effective reading programmes are systematic in their instruction; yet engage children with playful elements and game-like activities. Lessons are enjoyable, but do not neglect the larger goal of kids learning how to read.
This is certainly true for Reading Eggs, a systematic reading programme that offers a suite of game-like lessons that are fun and engaging for kids. Lessons are matched to a child’s reading ability, ensuring that reading is a successful activity where kids understand what they are reading, and enjoy the process of reading. By practising regularly with these lessons, kids will be well on the way to achieving the ultimate goal of Reading Eggs – learning how to read for meaning.
My first grade son truly enjoys his time on Reading Eggs. It has helped him in particular with sight words, word families, fluency, and confidence. He loves to “hatch” his new characters and collect the golden eggs. The beginning evaluation accurately placed him at the correct level, allowing him to be successful and challenged.”
- Anne S.
Our students love this site. It is bright, entertaining, engaging and educationally sound. What a fun way to learn to read! They can’t get enough of it and ask regularly ‘is it our turn on Reading Eggs today?’
- Katrina Kruger, Elliott Heads State School