How To Teach a Child to Read at an Early Age
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (or NAEP) is the United States’ only ongoing survey that tracks the performance of students across various academic subjects.
The NAEP has determined that 38% of students in the fourth grade have reading skills which scored below the basic level, which means that their reading achievement scored below 208, the basic level reading score according to the NAEP.
In order to get a better grasp of the scaling of the scores, it should be known that the upper limit score of the US reading scale is 500, and the average reading score for the fourth grade should be 217.
For grade 8, this average score should be 264, and for grade 12, it should be 291. The categories of reading achievement levels in grade 4 are as follows: Advanced has a score of 268, Proficient has a score of 238, and finally, Basic has a score of 208.
The NAEP defines the basic reading achievement as the ability to show a grasp of the overall meaning of what has been read. At the basic reading level for grade 4, a student should also be able to make obvious connections between the reading material and their personal experiences, as well as to make simple inferences that extend the ideas of what they have just read.
Unfortunately, the results of the NAEP show that more than one-third of students in the fourth grade have reading levels below basic, meaning that they cannot even grasp the overall ideas of what they read. Is your own child having difficulty learning how to read?
Research conducted on teaching methods that raise phonemic awareness has shown that these methods improve both reading and spelling skills in a child. In fact, the National Reading Panel (or NRP) has reviewed more than 1,900 studies, and has come to the conclusion that phonic systems are far more effective at teaching reading than whole language systems.
Teaching children to read while they are very young has had several documented advantages. There have also been many documented benefits to using phonic systems in order to teach them how to read. Teaching letter sounds and names can also be a great place to start.
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For instance, a study conducted in Sweden found that children who had a history of struggling with reading when newly enrolled, scored below average for reading in the fourth grade. In addition, children who had shown little interest in books and reading stories before the age of 5 also scored below average in a sentence reading test in the fourth grade. This study is only one of many others with similar findings, and it makes it clear that in order to avoid this, a parent must expose his or her child to books and reading at a young age.
There’s no hard and fast rule on when a child will be ready to begin learning to read. But even before reading, a parent can cultivate his or her child’s love for books and reading.
Of course, infants can’t even recognize what a book is, but reading to a child will help foster a love for reading and books. Once a child starts to grow a bit older, it is best not to rely on the TV to keep them entertained.
If they get used to it, children develop a dependency on television, and it will become very difficult to convince them to look for entertainment in books rather than from the TV. In order to avoid this, a parent should keep books that are age appropriate for his or her child all around the home, and read to the child often.
Teaching kids to read can be a very fun and rewarding activity. Children tend to imitate their parents, and they will start picking up books and pretending to read, even if they are still too young to be able to really read. So if you want to know how to teach your child to read, you should be reading first so they can model you.
Most people think that the appropriate time for a child to start reading would be around kindergarten or in the first grade. This is not the best approach, however, since raising phonemic awareness can and should begin before a child enters preschool. This is the best time to start learning how to teach kids to read.
These children will outperform other students in their age group, and show great reading and language skills as they progress through the grades. On the other hand, children who have trouble with reading at an early age usually continue to struggle with reading and spelling throughout their academic life.
Watch 2 Year Old Child Reading
1. NAEP 1998 Reading Report Card for the Nation and the States March 1999
Authors: Patricia L. Donahue, Kristin E. Voelkl, Jay R. Campbell, and John Mazzeo
2. J Learn Disabil. 1999 Sep-Oct;32(5):464-72.
Early language development and kindergarten phonological awareness as predictors of reading problems: from 3 to 11 years of age. Olofsson A, Niedersøe J. Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Sweden.