Up next in Child Education (15 videos)
Raise geniuses -- or just make sure your kids don't fail out of school -- with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Children's books
- ABC lessons
- Word games
- Books with color photographs (optional)
- Alphabet magnets (optional)
Be a chatterbox
From the time your child is born, keep up a steady stream of chatter -- tell them what you're doing, what they're doing, and what's going on around you both. Researchers have found that toddlers who were spoken to a lot from infancy tested higher in language skills than those whose parents were less talkative.
Read to children
Begin reading aloud to your baby when they are 6 months old. Education experts agree that reading to children is the single best thing parents can do to pave the way for their child to learn to read.
Show them words
When you read to your child, show them the letters and words you're saying by using your finger as a pointer. Get them to participate, too, by asking them to find pictures. Such interaction provides them with the building blocks of reading.
Teach tots their ABCs
Teach preschoolers their ABCs: print the letters of their name, saying each one as you write it, and encourage them to do the same; point out letters and words wherever you go; and ask your child to pick out letters in publications.
Foster their "phonemic awareness"
Use word games to foster their "phonemic awareness" -- the ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. Ask them to isolate the first or last sound in a word; challenge them to recognize a word when one letter is added or taken away; give them three letters and ask them to blend the separate sounds they make.
Don't push it
Be realistic. Most children are not ready to learn to read until around age 5. And don't be alarmed if your child seems slow: there is no connection between an early ability to read and intelligence. The bottom line? Fostering a life-long love of reading is more important than turning out an early bookworm.