Children’s Reading and The Internet

Children Learn to Read

Has the Internet Changed the Way Children Learn to Read?

Five years ago twins arrived in my daughter’s household. Although their arrival turned their parents and grandparents lives upside down, their sister, at the time four, took their arrival in stride. What has this to do with learning to read, you may well ask? Because Mum was very busy with the twins and quite tired, she allowed her four year old more access to the computer than normally.

Children Learn to ReadTogether they found a site where celebrities read stories. In our household you can never read enough stories to the children, so this was a great site. While the twins were breast-feeding, their sister was well entertained listening to the stories.
Another site was particularly geared to teaching phonetics and simple words. This site seem particularly interesting to her. She could listen to a story, she could match letters to sounds, she could watch small movies and videos about letters, and she learned both mouse skills as well as her way around the sites. All this could be done right beside Mum as she tended to the new babies.

The result of this is that our four year old taught herself to read. This got me wondering if more children use the computer to become familiar with sounds and words. There is no doubt that children spend more time than ever in front of one screen or another. Many sites have games, puzzles, quizzes, stories, and pure fantasy on them. With all these options it stands to reason that the Internet would be a great source for programs that teach children reading skills.

Children Learn to Read One way a child learns to read is by constant repetition of both recognizing what the letters look like and by remembering what sound they make. In their daycares, preschools, and kindergarten classes the walls are covered with letters of the alphabet. They learn the alphabet song as toddlers. By the time they are entering kindergarten most children can print their own names. By the end of kindergarten, they will have had practice printing and associating all the letters in the alphabet. Many of them will be able to read simple books. Our four year olds have been asking how to spell words for most of the year. They like to print out cards and make simple storybooks of their own imagination.

Children Learn to ReadPhonetics is another thing. Although most children recognize the sound of many words, they have a harder time sounding out new words. This skill is usually taught in grades one and two. Practice and repetition is necessary to learn all the exceptions in the English language.

Children Learn to ReadI have always felt that children, who are introduced to books as soon as they can sit and who are read stories everyday, will find learning to read quite easy. If parents love books they will pass this passion onto their children. The children will love the world that is opened up to them when they can read by themselves. Now the Internet can assist this activity. Children should always be monitored in their use of the computer, however with their parents help, they can find several wonderful sites that will help them learn to read.

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