We’ve all seen the “Hooked on Phonics” infomercials on the television along with a vast array of other infomercials promising to educate the young mind by following a certain regime. However, if you don’t have the money (in today’s economy, who does?) you may wonder where to turn and to whom.
Educating your children starts almost from the time a baby is born. A parent talks and sings to a child, and most importantly reads to them daily. Although one may not recognize the impact of these simple, yet meaningful gestures, the child comes to understand the world through the constant interactions of caregiver and child.
There are a vast array of educational activities that a parent can do with a child at a very young age to aid in the young reader’s development. Parents can practice word families (words broken into chunks such as the “at” family which contains cat, fat, bat, hat, mat, sat), high frequency words, books heard online, and onset and rime (words split into two parts such as s-ing, r-ing, d-ing), as a start.
There are also a few useful educational sites that are parent friendly to help assist in the development of the young reader:
1.is a site solely dedicated to teaching preschool-1st grade how to read. It contains leveled guided reading online books that aid the child in sounding out words based on the context clues the stories contain, focusing on prediction, repetitive text, wonderful illustrations that help the young reader decode, as well as engaging the child in high frequency words.
2. is another site that interested parents and teachers alike use to inspire the love for reading in children. There are countless activities in which to meet the needs of young readers.
Authentic and genuine experiences are valuable because they are meaningful to the child and mimic the adult world. Spending time with your children is priceless, and so much of what our children learn, will depend on the meaningful experiences you make together. Making a grocery list, writing a story together, labeling items around the house, playing “I spy” with site words are only a few examples of what parents can do to move their child in a direction that fosters learning…One Day at a Time.