Learning to read is one of the most critical skills your child will learn in early elementary school. Kids who are strong readers tend to perform better in all academic subjects. Unfortunately many kids fall through the cracks during kindergarten and first grade, and do not master critical literacy skills. If your child loves to play games online anyway, use that interest to help her learn to read or to strengthen her reading skills.
Read together online. When your child asks a question, invite him to sit down at the computer and research it together. Read relevant websites and articles to your child and discuss what you have read.
For story time, the Children's Storybooks Online website offers several dozen illustrated stories for young children, older children, and young adults.
Teach phonics skills on Starfall.com. Begin with letter recognition games, then move on to Zac the Rat and other leveled readers available on the website. When your child has mastered the leveled readers and understands basic phonics, he will be ready to begin to read independently.
Play word games on the PBS Kids website. These games will help your child strengthen his understanding of rhymes, beginning and ending consonants, and other literacy skills.
Perform guided reading on the Literactive website. This will help your child practice her emerging literacy skills while having fun.
Be sure you child understands what he read. After he reads a story or online article, ask him to tell you what he read in his own words.
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: The NICHD Research Program in Reading Development, Reading Disorders and Reading Instruction
- "Teach Them ALL to Read: Catching Kids Before They Fall Through the Cracks"; Elaine K. McEwan-Adkins; 2009