CAN YOU FIND WAYS TO MAKE READING FUN FOR KIDS?

cat with glasses reading book

Reading is a skill that is essential these days, and kids need to learn to read well.  If you can encourage a love of reading in your children, you will be doing them a great favor.

Learning to read accurately and well, while understanding what you read is crucial for school success.  You might not be surprised to learn that many children who don’t master reading grow up to be adults who struggle to hold a steady job.  They may require welfare services, and may even end up in jail.  So, inspire your kids to read evey day.

AN UNDERSTANDING OF PHONICS IS FUNDAMENTAL

Research has found that children who will likely become poor readers are often not as sensitive to the sound of the spoken word.

For example, take the word “bag.”  Both a child destined to be a good reader and one who will end up being a poor reader can understand the word.  However, the poor reader may not be able to distinguish the three sounds of the word, or may not realize that the last sound is what distinguishes the word “bag” from the word “bad.”boy, yellow vest, sitting outside reading

Phonemic awareness needs to be developed in children.  This is a skill they can master with about l00 hours of instruction in phonics.  Schools use various techniques to teach phonics.  As the child gets more competent at reading, teachers tend to minimize the study of language and attempt to get the kids excited about words, reading, and books.  However, the parent needs to make sure the child has enough training in phonics and word study to continue improving reading competence.

SOUNDING OUT WORDS IS IMPORTANT

Teachers now often focus on how to sound out words.  Sometimes the teacher will give a seminar for parents, to teach them some rules (for example, short and long sounds of vowels) so parents can reinforce lessons at home.

3 children lying in grass, readingIn your home, surround your child with books, and make these books topics of dinner conversations.  Listen to how the child talks about the book to make sure her understanding of the meaning of the words continues to grow.

These are some notes from a fine article about reading.  To read the complete article, go to www.greatschools.org, and read about the right way to teach reading.

Now, you will be given a choice of children’s books to peruse.  There might be a book on this list that is just right for your child.

 

Kim’s First Full Moon (board book)drawing of kitten, full moon, flowers

By Greenwillow Books

Price:  8.49

 

 

 

Everything Cat:  What Kids Really Want to Know About Catsvarious cats on book cover

By Cooper Square Publishing

Price:  7.95

 

 

 

National Geographic Kids Cats Sticker Activity Bookorange cat on sticker book cover

By National Geographic Children’s Books

Price:  $6.99

 

 

 

Warriors Super Edition:  Crowfeather’s Trialhead and shoulders of black cat

By Harper Collins

Price:  10.99

 

 

 

Pete the Cat:  Snow Daze (my first I Can Read book)Cat in tall hat shoveling snow

By Harper Collins

Price:  4.99

 

 

 

Wild Cards:  For the Love of Cats Card Game and Book Card Gamecat cards and information sheet

By Birdcage Press

Price:  11.50

 

 

 

Oscar, Cat-About-Towntiger cat amidst crockery

By James Herriot

Price:  13.95 (Hardback)

 

 

 

The Christmas Day Kitten
wreath; surrounds snow scene, kitten sitting
By James Herriot

Price:  33.92 (Hardback)

 

 

 

The Shy Little Kitten (Little Golden Books)Drawing of tiger kitten in blue grass

By Golden Books

Price: 4.99

 

 

 

 

Meet Maya Cat:  A Story About Acceptancepartial drawing of cat head, big eyes

By Lauren Beader

Price:  16.99

 

 

 

Note:  As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission if you purchase one of these books.


8 Responses to CAN YOU FIND WAYS TO MAKE READING FUN FOR KIDS?

  1. Steve says:

    Well, this certainly brought back some memories for me.  My kids are teenagers now, but we still have “Kittens First Full Moon” and my daughter has all of the “Warrior Cats” series.  We used a lot of the techniques you mention, when we were teaching our kids to read.  You have some awesome choices of books, many we own, or have read to our kids. My niece has a toddler and we were just trying to remember all of the books that our kids had when they were young. Your site is a good reminder for me.  Do you recommend a specific book or series for a toddler?  I don’t remember at what age kids are beyond board books.  Thanks again for this post, I appreciate it.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Steve, your comment is really appreciated.  I’m pleased you liked my suggestions.  You know, you gave me a good idea — a selection of books (board books) for toddlers.  That could include board books and simple reads you can share with the small one.  Thanks for the idea!  Also, I am doing an article on hardback classics for children, with reviews from Lucinda the Literate Cat.  I’ve been having fun writing those. Yes, it’s nice to give books to kids that they can keep for their kids, if they wish.  

  2. Aziza Usoof says:

    Although the English language is peculiar, where the letter and the sound do not coincide, some oriental languages do not have the problem of phonics with the basic alphabet. The problem begins when kids start with vowel sounds, which become additions to the basic alphabet. I can remember my sister having problems with the “E” and “O” sounds for many years. I do agree that reading basic books is the way to cultivate the love of reading in a child and cannot agree more that cat stories are by far the best as I am a real cat lover.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      I’m glad to meet another cat lover, and am glad there are a lot of us.  The basic books certainly are helpful in teaching young children to read, Cat stories are great fun.  However, I’m trying an experiment.  I want to include some other children’s stories that are not cat-related.  So, I’m introducing a new character to my site — Lucinda, the literate cat.  Lucinda has written a few book reviews for me about animals, but not necessarily cats.  However, she has written the reviews with her comments on their significance.  It’s been fun to write.  Watch for it.

  3. swangirl says:

    These books look so cute! I would have loved them when I was a kid. I loved to read and my parents made sure I learned phonics. I agree with you that phonics are vital for reading success. In some schools they no longer teach phonics! It was popular decades ago but it has fallen out of style now. I hear horror stories of kids who struggle to read. They only know the words they have memorized from school. If they see a new word they don’t know how to figure out the sounds on their own. I can’t imagine learning to read without phonics. 

    I would definitely use these sweet cat books to teach phonics and inspire kids to read. 

    Thank you for these great selections!

    Jessica

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Jessica, you are so right on.  If the child does not learn how to sound out words, his reading progress will be slowed down, big-time.  Hopefully parents will get the message at some point, and help their children more in developing reading skills.

  4. Rika says:

    Hi Fran,

    I agree with you.  We need to teach our children to listen to the spoken word from a very young age.  That is why it is important to speak properly to your child, even if they are only tiny toddlers.  Parents get less time to spend with their children because of a busy working life.  You have to make time for your children and reading to them is a great start.  I also think technology is a big culprit.  Children are exposed to electronic devices from birth and parents use these to keep their children entertained.

    Do you think electronic devices are good or bad for a child’s overall learning development, especially literacy?  At what age should we introduce our children to the written word?

    Thanks for great advice!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thanks so much for your comments.  You are right on with  your remarks.  I do believe electronic devices are of value because they are so much of the modern world, and the sooner the child learns to master them, the better.  That being said, I also agree that too often parents use electronic devices to entertain their children and don’t spend time with them to develop reading.  I think starting very young children with board books gets them used to books.  As soon as they can read, more difficult books should be given to them.  I think it is important for parents to read to their children and also to help them to read.  Electronics or no, the child needs to learn to read!

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