Learning to read is an exciting experience no matter what age you start at, because it opens up so many doors that had previously been closed. Can you imagine not being able to read street signs or text messages or the nutritional information on the side of packages? Probably not, because you're reading this article, but for millions of people all over the world, it's reality. Whether you know an adult who is illiterate or are looking for help teaching your youngster to read, this article should provide a few helpful tips.
Teachers Know Best
You may think that because you can read, you're the logical person to educate your child or illiterate friend, but there's more to it than being able to read. You have to be able to assess the learning abilities and styles of the person you're teaching and adapt your methods to help them learn. Teachers, both in elementary schools and adult literacy classes, are trained to do this and will get the best results out of their pupils.
Reading is Everywhere
Even if you've got a teacher working to help your illiterate friend or child, learning to read is an ongoing process. If you have other kids or a job, it can be difficult to find time to set aside for working on reading skills. While you should set aside some quiet time to get Hooked on Phonics, you can also augment it with real-world exercises. Read menu, billboards, board games, etc.
Technology Makes Reading Fun
Gone are the days when you had to force your kids to slog through boring books about Dick, Jane and their dog Spot walking down the street. The toy aisles are littered with educational helper devices from touch-screen Dora the Explorer books that read to you to shiny pop-up board books that sing the ABCs. Buy your kid one and watch how easy it becomes to get him to work on his reading.
Keep it in Perspective
Kids are famous for insisting that they'll never use whatever it is you're trying to teach them, whether it be how to tie their shoes or how to diffuse a nuclear weapon. Kids have notoriously bad foresight (which is why they're always doing silly things like pulling down supermarket displays) so help them keep in perspective when they hit rough spots by reminding them of what they'll be able to do when they succeed. If they like Legos, take them to the museum and show them some of the blueprints and miniature models to remind them that only people who can read can design buildings or cars or spaceships.
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