It starts when you pick up a book and begin reading to your child. It's never too early nor too late to introduce a book to a child.

With the current situation and work from home challenges, the online platform has been a blessing. “A Panacea in the Time” in times like this, where we children from across the globe could reach us through various platforms was extremely helpful for many parents.

 

Although several arguments were brought forward with e-learning, such as:  accessibility, affordability, flexibility to learn the new tech, learning online pedagogy, etc…we cleared the path and began to understand how to use these e-platforms better.

 

The National Reading Panel brought together a five-point concepts for an effective reading program: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension…

Phonemic Awareness

We’ve all heard very young children making sounds and try to imitate words they hear. From their first “hmmm” and “cooo” to milestone words we as parents wait for, like “Mama” or “Papa.” 

In these early observations, we recognize that children are born with the ability to produce sounds that will eventually turn into words and then sentences. Babies begin by vocalizing sounds and imitating speech using many different sounds (babbling) and then go on to sound out simple words like “cup” and “go”. They have been listening to words for months, yet it is only when they are about one years old that they can properly use these sounds. 

 

Starting at about 12 months and continuing through adolescence, children learn an average of ten new words a day if they are given the opportunity to do so. This mainly occurs through hearing new words in conversations and books. One of the most compelling and well-established findings in the research on learning how to read is the important relationship between phonemic awareness and reading acquisition” (Kame’enui, et. al., 1997). Phonemic awareness is the first pillar of reading instruction because it is a critical pre-reading skill. 

Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify the different sounds that sounded out together help in speech. Word games, rhymes, tongue twisters, and bingo can help children identify the sounds in words and use the sounds to form a word to letters of the alphabet. 

 

Phonics

Phonics helps children gain confidence reading as being able to properly sound out letters is the foundation to reading.  The child learns to match sounds to letters or letter groups. Phonics is the key to decoding sounds into new words. Breaking down words  into sounds allows young readers to connect words on paper with the words they hear and speak every day. Rhyming words are extremely helpful in phonics.

Fluency

Fluency is the ability to read accurately and at a steady speed. No, we aren’t in competition but we wouldn’t want a child to read so slow that when putting the words together, it doesn’t make sense!

 

Online classes place children by level depending on their reading skills. Phonics is the key to decoding new words. Here not only do the children recognize sight words but they understand them too! 

 

Kids absorb language like sponges, learning new words and their meaning every class. This helps expand their vocabulary. 

Vocabulary

In our program, we start from the basic skills by introducing sound, to blending sounds,  and fun online lessons in between the classes. In our program, your child will enjoy learning new skills through engaging, dynamic and well-planned lessons. Your child will make great progress by reading and practicing skills regularly.

 

In each class, students spend time reading and the teacher opens up a dynamic discussion that serves as a start button into the world of conversations. Under the teacher’s guidance, students explore the riches of vocabulary and form individual connections so it becomes easy for them to express their thoughts and opinions.

 

The skills taught will help your child get a hold on their ability to grow into an avid reader and help towards building your child’s confidence as a reader. When your child’s reading skills are strong, it will make reading easier, more productive and most importantly, more enjoyable. Your child will eagerly look to books as a source of knowledge and inspiration and will want to continue reading and improving throughout the year.

 

Comprehension

Classes have a conversation segment, where teachers talk to the children, read aloud and sing with them. This allows the teacher to help the child understand the situation and chose the right word from the list.

 

Once a child is comfortable with fluency, they can begin to not only just read words but understand them too; otherwise known as reading comprehension.

 

Comprehension is that “A-HA” moment, that promotes confidence. You can help with comprehension by asking various questions about what they are reading.

“Reading is to mind what exercise is to body"

“Great and good books help us, as parents and teachers, guide young people to the higher values and truths in life. And we know that development toward these higher things is not a given, not in our world today, not ever. It’s a joy to be a parent, to watch our children grow, but it’s always challenging and often hard. We need all the help we can get.”

-Paul Copperman, Founder, and President of the Institute of Reading Development

 

Great experiences don’t just happen, even in great books. Students of all ages love talking about books with others, and leading discussions is what makes it all so special because every student participates by speaking and being heard.

The pure joy of having a child engage with books in a meaningful way will help the child become a strong, confident reader who loves books and reading. When your child gets comfortable with a book, he or she is ready for the ultimate experience!

About the Author:

Shaheen is a Post Graduate student in Finance with 7 years of teaching experience. She has been following her passion of Storytelling for two and a half years. Shaheen is certified Phonics tutor and a curriculum developer who believe in having a strong vision.

 

Shaheen will take you on a virtual tour of artwork, and guide you on how to look at pictures and not only build your imagination skills, but your listening, vocabulary and understanding skills too 🙂