The Importance of Reading for Children Preschool to Grade Three

Written By: Mary M. Alward
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The first teachers of children are their parents. From the time they are infants, children need to be taught of love of words and reading. In order to help your little one develop into an avid reader, use the following tips.

Talk to preschool children from the time they are infants. They learn about words by listening to you.

Read to your child from the day he is born. Though he may not understand the words, he certainly listens to your voice.

As your child grows, share your love of books with him. Read your child’s favorite books aloud to him on a daily basis.

As you read to your child, point out interesting words. This will help him to understand that the squiggly symbols on the pages have meaning.

Talk to your child about books as he gets older. Talk about exciting stories and have your child tell you the part of the story that he enjoys the most.

Help you child relate things that he already knows to the things he reads in books. This will give him a better understanding of the world.

Signs of Reading Problems

Reading is a challenge to over forty percent of children. Be alert to signs that you child is struggling with reading. Two of the biggest problems that will occur and should be watched for are:

Hearing Impairment

If your child has a problem hearing individual sounds, he will not be able to understand the connection between sounds and words. If you suspect your child’s struggle with reading is the result of a hearing impairment, contact your doctor and ask that your child have a hearing test. This will enable health care and educational professionals to better assist your child in his reading progress.

Language or Speech Problems

Children who are late talkers, those who say very little and those who have difficulty pronouncing words or expressing their feelings verbally may find reading to be an insurmountable task. If you suspect that language or speech problems are obstructing your child’s ability to read, ask your doctor to recommend a language and speech professional. This enables your child to be assessed so he can get the help he needs at home and at school.

Warning Signs

Early warning signs that will help you recognize that your child is struggling with reading include:

Difficulty learning to count, recite the alphabet or learning the days of the week.

Having a problem rhyming words.

Experiencing problems telling or re-telling a story or describing his favorite book.

Problems following directions that include more than one step.

Help your child avoid years of frustration by recognizing the fact that he is having difficulty learning to read. If he’s having difficulty, contact your doctor and his school so he can get the help he needs early in life.


Sending your child to preschool will help him learn a love of books and reading. When searching for the right preschool for your child, be sure the following activities are part of each day:

Playing rhyming games.

The reading of books, poetry and nursery rhymes aloud to children.

Teaching children the alphabet, letters and sounds.

Teaching children words on a continuous basis.

Teaching children to write the alphabet.


While your child is in preschool, help him build strengths that will make learning to read much easier. These strengths will stay with him through his school years and into adulthood.

Teach your child to how to follow directions that have multiple steps.

Encourage your child to use good vocabulary and proper grammar.

Teach your child to tell a story.

Encourage your child to express himself verbally and on paper.

By age two, begin to teach your child the alphabet and counting.

Teach your child to express himself using paper and pencil at an early age.

Schools and Teachers

It’s imperative that parents learn to recognize a good school or teacher. Both schools and teachers have a huge impact on your child’s learning ability. The following tips will help you to recognize good schools and good teachers.

The teaching of phonics to small groups of children.

The practice of ongoing assessments to determine and keep a record of your child’s reading progress.

Based on the assessment results, your child should be placed in a reading group that will further advance his reading skills.

Teachers should use a wide range of teaching methods in order to keep your child excited about, and interested in, reading.

Talk to your child’s teacher about his reading progress. If your child is struggling with reading challenges, talk to his teacher or principal to ensure he gets the extra help that he needs. Be sure to continue to read aloud to your child at home and encourage him to read to you. If necessary, hire a tutor to assist your child and give him the proper tools that he needs to be a fluent reader.

Be sure to do all that is within your power to teach your child a love of reading. This will enable him to move through the upper grades, high school, university and adulthood without the frustrations that come when reading skills are limited.

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