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Learning To Read Is A Marathon Not A Sprint

Do you remember how you learned to read?

Did you just pick up some books and figure it out yourself? Did someone teach you? Was it your mother, grandparent, teacher or an older sibling who helped you learn?

I don’t have a lot of memories of how I was taught to read. I suspect most of you don’t either. What I do recall is being at home with my family and being given some Peter and Jane books by my mother and being able to read them immediately, which shocked and pleased her to no end! I remember her getting very excited that I could read without much help! My guess is there was some reading and literacy being taught at my Kindergarten which my mother was not privy to until that moment. It was an emotionally charged event where I was showered with praise and love, which is probably why the memory stuck.


In reality only 1-7% of children are able to figure out reading on their own. Most will need help decoding the written word.


As adults, reading is second nature to us. We are bombarded with words wherever we go. We so easily forget the effort we made and the village it took to get us to fluency. Learning to read is a marathon and not a sprint which is why we have to rely on the process and apply patience when it comes to our own children learning to read.


Believe it or not, learning to read begins from when we are born. This is why there are classifications of the different stages of reading from Pre-Readers (0 – 1 year), Emergent Readers (1 – 2 years), Early Readers (3-5 years), Transitional Readers (5-7 years) and Fluent readers (7 years on). The number of years it takes a child to pass from one stage to the other will vary from one individual to the next, but as you can already see, the process takes years.


In the pre-reading years, your child's primary instructor is you.What can you do to help your child learn as much as is developmentally possible in the years they solely rely on you to learn?


Stay tuned for my next article where I will discuss the stages of reading further and what you can do to support your little readers.

Till then, happy reading!


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