Teach Your Child to Read

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When teaching a child how to read, you will need to understand how the human brain works- What is the most memorable day of your life? When you think of it, you most likely a picture comes to mind, not words. The human brain is wired to remember emotional events. Every time a dramatic or traumatic event happens, new neurons are formed as pathways to the brain. It is like an imprint that sends a message to the brain when a certain smell reminds us of a dramatic event. Reading and language are regarded in the same context. If a child can not picture what they read, then they have not retain the information, thus creating new neurons to the brain (even short term neurons can be created. If the story is really memorable, then more permanent neurons will be established). The easiest way to test this is to have a child draw (even if it is with stick figures),the general idea of what was read. If they struggle, then you know that there is a comprehension problem. For example, if someone speaks to you in a foreign language, then you will not be able to draw, on a piece of paper, the general idea. Some children view reading as a foreign language.

Once you’ve figured out that comprehension is the problem, matters should be addressed. If an Auditory Processing Delay is ruled out, then you can work on decoding skills with your child. Retrain the brain how to read and process information by using the Orton Gillingham reading series. Most schools in New York State are using this curriculum. Basic phonics rules will help form words, thus creating a picture in the mind.

You will need to work for a short amount of time each day, and make it fun! Making reading into a game is key. I still have my adult students draw the main idea after a paragraph or two, and they are reading at a much higher reading level. It keeps their neurons firing at all times. Children will love the artistic learning element.

Sinning and counting be a natural learning aid when teaching a child how to read. Have children count as many items as possible in a song-like fashion. There is a strong relationship between rhythmic counting and reading skills. Before my children could talk, I would count stairs, items at the grocery store, walking steps etc. When they were about 2, they could count to ten just from rhythmic memorization. The part of the brain responsible for rhythm is also responsible for language and reading. Remember , learning to read is not an easy task and should not be rushed. Relax and have fun and your child will follow your cues.


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