Reading is nearly the most important thing that any parent can teach to a child, and writing is not far behind in importance. This is because most all future learning will be based on the ability to read and comprehend well. Therefore, it is vital that all parents ensure that children can read and write early and well to set the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Here are five ways to give your youngster a leg up on these subjects.

Start Early

The foundational tenet for good reading and writing is to start with both from an early age. Parents should read to their children even before it seems that they can understand what they hear. There is no age that is too early to start teaching literacy.

Teach Phonics

Instead of teaching your child to recognize only basic words, teach them to read on their own by using phonics. Ensure that they know what sound each letter makes, and teach them special phonics blend sounds. In this way, they will be able to sound out most words for themselves in no time.

Check Their Eyes

If you are doing everything in your power to teach your child to read and write yet he or she is still struggling, you may want to have the child’s eyes checked. Some children deal with poor eyesight that leaves them falling behind in most of their classes. A simple solution, such as reading glasses, may be all it takes to get them burning through their favorite books for themselves.

Improve Fine Motor Skills

The most difficult parts about writing for children are the fine motor movements of the fingers that are required to form a legible letter. You can work on building up finger strength and improving fine motor skills by letting your child work with clay or play dough regularly.

Invest in a Pencil Grip

Very thick pencils are easiest for young writers to hold. Alternately, you may want to invest in a rubber pencil grip that will teach children how to correctly hold their fingers on the pencil. Learning correct finger placement now will prevent future problems.

There is no such thing as starting too early with learning. While parents should be careful not to pressure their children prior to starting school, parents can always set a good example and instill an early love for reading by reading to infants and toddlers. As these children grow, they will learn to love reading on their own and will enjoy getting their ideas across using good penmanship.