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Diane Flynn Keith...

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Help Your Child Become A Strong Reader!

Before a child can be expected to learn to read, he/she needs to have strong language skills.  Kind of a simple idea, isn’t it?

You don’t need the preschool reading kit, the alphabet-of-the-day worksheet, or whatever else is being heavily promoted. What your child really needs is exposure to language through simple everyday conversations and reading. It’s natural learning.

If you’re not hearing about it, perhaps it’s because you can do it for free.

How do you get strong language skills? You talk to your child. You read aloud. You sing. You play with tongue twisters and silly poems. You also listen and respond. Having heard and understood words will make it easier to read.

During the preschool years, that means thinking about what you say to your child. Using descriptive language helps so much!  Listening and responding helps too.

There isn’t a kit to buy.  Just go to your library and get plenty of books to read aloud to your child, and also books or magazines for you, since seeing you read will show your child that this is something worth doing.

Great Grandma knew about this. She and her friends didn’t share computer programs or ponder what to buy from an “expert.”  There were no companies spending a small fortune trying to create a need by getting caring parents worried that their child would be behind if they didn’t purchase learning materials during the preschool years.

Here’s the two-step time honored plan: become proficient in oral language and then move on to the written word.  It’s Great Grandma approved because it works!

If you’re on board with the idea of natural learning, but would like some examples of how to talk to a young child,there are some parent/child communication examples.

Your little one is still new to the world and figuring things out.  Make sure that his/her first impression about learning is that it’s exciting and not a chore.  No pressure, no tears. Just playing with the language, and with the adults in his/her life.  It’s a recipe for success!

If you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!  Email your questions and ideas to or post directly to and we can chat there!


*Karen Taylor provides regular homeschooling information and mentoring on Facebook and she is the director of Cedar Life Academy, a Private School Satellite Program (PSP) for homeschoolers in California.

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