Many children break the written code by themselves by asking questions about words and text, while others need a bit more help to understand how writing works. Researchers now agree that there is no one-fits-all method of learning to read for children.
Swedish schools and nurseries are good for children's reading skills
“Swedish schools are good at teaching pupils to read, partly thanks to the excellent grounding provided by Swedish nursery teachers. The biggest challenge for Swedish schools is rather to persuade pupils to carry on developing their reading comprehension throughout their schooling.” Source: The Swedish National Agency for Education
Play games and activities with books together with your child
One way of getting your child interested in books and reading is to read aloud to them early on. Read with them in all sorts of situations: have lots of books lying around, and let them see you reading as well.
You can also use books as a basis for games
• Play-act – dramatise your child's favourite stories and use several different words to increase your child's understanding and interest.
• Talk to your child a lot, and explain what words mean. If your child has a good vocabulary, they will feel well equipped later on when it's time to read difficult words which they haven't previously seen written down.
• Mimicking games – if one of the characters in a story, say, cooks or bakes, you can do the same.
• Read fairytales and draw pictures to illustrate them.
• Read a book you haven't read before and chat together about what you think it's about.
• Read a fairytale and use your imagination to think about the characters or what happens when you've finished reading.
Learning to read
The key to learning to read is often closely linked to being curious about reading. Many parents want to teach their children to read quickly, because they know how much fun it is, and that reading opens the door to an enormous world of knowledge and imagination.