Reading to your baby from infancy on exposes them to the alphabet, to the sounds that words make, and to the idea that print letters translate into spoken words. Talking to your child about a story also helps early understanding and vocabulary and not exposing them to this could set them up for reading challenges and even failure. Today in the U.S., 37 percent of children start school without basic pre-reading skills. In 2002, government agencies convened the National Early Literacy Panel to understand what helps children from birth to age 5 learn to read when they get to school. Their report, “Developing Early Literacy,” released last year shows that you have to teach child literacy skills through play and give them plenty of access to books while growing up. Reading to them at a very early age teaches them alphabet, vocabulary, and language skills.
They also reported these five “Steps to Success”:
1. Print concepts: When you read to your child, you show them that you read words and not pictures, where you begin on a page and what direction you go in.
2. Alphabet knowledge: Help your child first learn to name letters, then the sounds that each letter makes.
3. Phonological awareness: Preschoolers also need to hear and remember the separations between words in a sentence and to hear the sounds within words. Rhyming books and songs encourage phonological awareness.
4. Oral language: Talk and ask questions to your child about what you’re reading.
5. Writing: Encourage any drawing or scribbling and let your child see you write.
These five simple steps and setting aside time to read with your child everyday can make a difference in your child’s reading success.

Building Self-confidence in our Children

Building self-confidence in our children can be the most important gift we give them. Beginning early in their life when babies learn to turn the pages of a book or toddlers learn to walk, they are getting the idea “I can do it”. With each new skill and milestone, kids can develop increasing confidence.
Of course, supervision is important to ensure that kids stay safe, but to help them really learn a new skill, don’t be a helicopter parent! Give young kids the opportunity to try something new, make mistakes, and learn from them. Then when the more important opportunities come along in life, they have that “I can do it” attitude already instilled in them. It takes confidence to be a kid and they are going to face a lot of uncharted territory. Self-confidence doesn’t come from parents telling them they’re great, but because of their achievements, big and small. Sure, it’s good to hear encouraging words from mom and dad, but words of praise mean more when they refer to a child’s specific efforts or new abilities.

Author: Unique Ultrasound