Reading Is Fundamental
It has been said that “reading is fundamental.” If you think of the word fundamental as meaning “essential”, I would agree that this quote is correct. However, if you think of the word fundamental to mean “basic,” I would have difficulty agreeing with the quote. For most children, reading is fundamental in every aspect of the word. It is essential and necessary, it is also basic and elementary. However, there is a percentage of children who do not fit the fundamental category.
Although reading is essential and necessary for everyone, there are children who find the task of reading and learning to read to be the most difficult thing that they have ever been asked to do. Children struggle with learning the letters of the alphabet, the sounds associated with the letters, and the ability to put those letters and sounds together to read and make words.
When children begin the reading process frustrated and feeling incapable, they may also experience vulnerability and fear. These are feelings that should not be associated with the process of learning.
That’s why it’s important to know whether your child is a successful reader or a struggling reader, and expose him to as much reading material as possible. One way to get an idea of your child’s reading ability, is to ask him to read. If he’s past first grade, he should be able to read with fluency and tell you what he’s read. If it appears that your child is calling word, mispronouncing words that reappear, taking time to sound out sight words, or shows signs of frustration, you should express your concerns to the teacher.
Exposing your child to print material should begin at an early age, and you should observe how he responds to it. You can use flash cards, picture and word books, or books that repeat the same words over and over. Labeling items around the house is also a good method to use.