Annie Stow is a mom to three children; ages 5, 3 and 1. She is a K-4 reading specialist in the public schools and an enthusiastic mommy blogger who shares her parenting adventures at stowedstuff.com.
Meet Mrs. Stow, by way of Chelsea, Sudbury, Medfield and Foxborough. 5th grade, 3rd grade, middle school reading specialist and finally an elementary school reading specialist. I’m doing what I love now, teaching little people how to read and how to become better readers. And having 5 year-old daughter who is enthralled with letters and words and is so interested in reading and writing keeps me busy too. I love helping her “crack the code.”
I am one of the lucky ones who can truly say I love what I have chosen as a career. Watching it “click” for kids who have been struggling is simply awesome. Sometimes they just need a little extra time before it “clicks.” I’m currently witnessing the “click” with some of my first graders. It doesn’t get much better than that. The working memory gets all linked up with their letters and sounds and the 3 million crazy rules of the English language. It’s not an easy task! Then I have to make sure they’re understanding what they’re reading…can’t let it all “clunk!” (COMPREHENSION!)
So many friends of mine who are moms to toddlers and preschoolers often ask, “What can I do to help my child learn to read?” Here is a list of 10 great tips to promote early literacy development, by yours truly, Mrs. Stow.
- Read to your child. Let your child see you reading all kinds of print. Share in the experience. Talk about reading. Read magazines, newspapers, cookbooks. Teach them the value of reading by modeling it for them.
- Go to the library. Make reading FUN.
- Talk. It may sound silly, but it is so important. Talk while feeding, dressing, bathing. Vary your tone. TALK.
- Let your child write. Write with crayons, pencils, pens, markers, paint, and chalk.
- Sing. Sing songs and rhymes A LOT. Sing in the car. Sing in the kitchen. Sing in the bath. SING. It will improve memory skills and help your child distinguish between different sounds.
- Don’t underestimate the power of Dunkin Donuts, Cheerios and McDonalds. I don’t know about your children, but Emily’s first reading experience was “Dunkin Donuts.” We call this environmental print. Powerful stuff. It’s the print in our everyday life. It’s reading.
- Point out printed words to your child. STOP, GO, EXIT. Words are everywhere. Read them and point them out.
- Talk about the pictures in books.
- Teach your child how to write his/her name.
- Write your family members’ names on index cards with black marker and practice reading them together. Once your child learns what everyone’s name looks like, you can introduce fun words like I, go, we, he, cat. Then the silly sentence making can begin! Keep adding words to this pile of cards and watch them take off!