Getting Your Child Ready to Read

by Cristina Latici, M.S.Ed.
Free-lance Writer and Former Teacher

A toddler who says "ba-ba" to prompt his mother to bring him a bottle shows he understands that words hold meaning. A three-year-old who pretends a block is a "choo-choo train" reveals her understanding that one thing can stand for another—a foundation for learning that letters and words symbolize sounds, objects, thought, and action. Here are some concrete ways you can support your child's emerging reading skills.

A home environment that is rich in language and literature will support your child as he progresses from "pre-reader" to "reader." Stay committed to making the process of learning to read pleasurable, exciting, and pressure-free. Keep in mind that as with learning how to talk, children begin to understand written letters at different rates. The key is to get your child excited by the written word so that reading becomes a natural extension of her own curiosity and an enjoyable pastime.