Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet Guest Author: Janet Ann Collins

Hints to Prepare Kids for Reading
by Janet Ann Collins

Children become ready to learn to read when the myelin coating on nerves in their brains has developed. This usually happens when they are about five or six years old, but can be sooner or later. Pushing kids to learn before their brains are ready can do more harm than good, so it’s important not to pressure young children to read. However there are some things parents can do to make the learning easier when the time is right.
First, they can read to their children beginning as early as possible. While some babies aren’t interested until they start learning to speak, many infants enjoy having their parents read to them. Scientific studies have shown that adults who are excellent readers usually were read to regularly as young children.
It’s a good idea to have the children sit where they can see the text and to slide a finger along beneath each line as it is read. That helps kids learn that in English we read from left to right and, as they become familiar with stories they hear often, they might even begin to recognize some words.
Recent news broadcasts have said it does more harm than good to show “educational” videos to babies and toddlers, but here’s one kind of media that can make a difference. Playing a phonics CD with basic sounds for every letter of the alphabet each night as the little ones drop off to sleep helps their brains absorb that knowledge subconsciously.
And last, but far from least, children who see their parents reading and live in homes where books, magazines, and newspapers are part of the family’s daily life will be motivated to learn to read themselves when they are old enough to do so.

Janet Ann Collins is a retired teacher who used to write feature articles for a newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area and her work has appeared in many other periodicals. She is the author of two books for children. The Peril of the Sinister Scientist is a middle grade novel and Secret Service Saint is a Christmas picture book.

For more information about this talented writer click on these URLS:

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Mayra Calvani said...

Great post, Janet. Wonderful tips for people with young children.

Margaret Fieland said...

Thanks for a terrific post, Kathy. Janet, from everything I've heard my parents could have used this information -- and I could have too, when my kids were small.

The Old Silly said...

Excellent advice in this short, very important article/post! Thanks Janet and Kathy!

Marvin D Wilson

NancyCL said...

Great article! Way to go, Janet!

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for visiting everyone.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks to Kathy for letting me be a guest and to all who left nice comments.

Crystal said...

Wonderful post, Kathy! Very encouraging!