Every parent beams with joy and pride whenever his or her child reads a sentence successfully.
Little Sue-Ann, a 3-year old, has just brought home her first reader from kindergarten. She proudly reads aloud to her parent and the next thing you know, her beaming parent asks Sue-Ann how to spell a particular word. Obviously Sue-Ann’s reply will be, “I don’t know.” That poor 3-year old is feeling a little sad and discouraged for not being to “spell” and without being spared, the parent questions her child again, “How come you don’t know?”
The One Mistake Most Parents Make When Getting Their Child to Read
I have been teaching children aged 1.5 to 6 years old for almost 17 years and I have yet to see a child who is not able to read at all. When a child is given the right techniques and motivation, reading can be achieved without sweat. Reading is not about getting every word and spelling correct. Reading must be ENJOYED – a total pleasure!
Can you imagine when your child passes by a bookshop and she pesters you to bring her in? Yes, that child has discovered something that money cannot buy – knowledge.
Reading is the key to knowledge.
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my mother used to say that she could not see my head. Well, it was because I was always behind a book. Back in those days, my mother would take me once a week to a little book shop called “Lim Brothers” in Malacca and what pure joy it was for me every time I stepped into this place. I’d get to choose a book and she would make the purchase but after that, she had a hard time getting me for my meals though!
When to Start Reading to Your Child?
So when should we start reading with a child? I’ve told many parents: start them even when your child is an infant. I’d read to my babies (my sons are now 10 and 6 respectively). They are fascinated with fantasy books and magazines.
My 10-year old son loves Roald Dahl’s books and is currently reading “Edgar and Ellen” series by Charles Ogden – it’s about a pair of twins, Edgar and Ellen who live alone. Their parents disappeared years ago. And who can blame them?
Next Up: Part 2…
What kind of books should we introduce to a 3, 4, 5 or 6 year olds? If you are keen to know, watch out for Part 2 on this website. I’ll be listing out some great books for your little ones.
Jade Lim is a principal of a kindergarten and she specializes in child education.