The key to preparing your child to read is in reading to him as much as you can. Use wordless books so he can read a book through the pictures before he learns to read print. Predictable books are good choices because they have patterned structures, predictable plots, and so much repetition that children can guess what is coming next and start "reading" them. Be sure also to expose your son to the traditional nursery rhymes and ABC and counting books. Read and reread these books.
When you read to your child, run your finger under the words from time to time as you read them. This will teach him that you read from top to bottom and left to right and that letters form words. Soon he will be able to read some of these words.
Other things that you can do to encourage your child to enjoy reading without forcing him to read are:
- Taking family trips to the library.
- Providing him with his own books.
- Sharing a daily reading time with him.
- Talking together before, during, and after reading a story.
- Asking questions about what you have read together, but not making it a right or wrong answer session.
- Knowing your child's attention span and not reading beyond it.