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Everyday Learning: Singing with children can help them learn how to read

Singing helps children hear consonants better and expands their vocabulary.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Everyday Learning is a monthly educational series in partnership with the Sacramento Public Library and sponsored by Fortune School of Education. This month we're exploring the topic of Singing with your children. 

Did you know singing with your child can help your child learn to read? Donna Zick, educational specialist with the Sacramento Public Library, says when children begin to read, there are a few things they need to master:

  1. The ability to sound out words. This means they are able to understand letter and sounds and blend them all together.
  2. Understanding what they are reading.

This is where singing with your child can help your little one learn how to read. First, singing slows down language. This will help children hear letter sounds better. If you sing the song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” slowly, children can hear those “t” sounds and those “k” sounds. 

Second, is the opportunity to expand their vocabulary. The words used while singing will expand your child's vocabulary. For example, in“Itsy, Bitsy Spider," the word “water spout” is not a commonly used word. Zick said someday, they're going to encounter that word in a book and they're going to be able to recognize it and sound it out.

So, what's the best way to get started? Well, it's pretty easy. Just start singing together. It doesn't have to just be educational songs, it can be something as simple as a nursery rhyme. The most important thing is you choose songs that you enjoy.

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