Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Learning To Read: Why Is Rhyme Important?

Learning to read is one of the toughest and most important tasks a young child faces. A child's successful accomplishment of this feat is one of the strongest indicators of future success--and a child's struggle with reading is one of the strongest indicators of future failure. There are many things that parents can do to help ensure that their child is successful when learning to read and one of the keys is making sure that rhyme is a part of your child's early life. There are three important reasons why rhyme is important to learning to read.

One key reason why rhyme is important is that it is fun. Playing with rhyme is learning but because it is just that -- playing -- children are willing to spend a lot of time rhyming and learning more about rhyme. This makes rhyme a great teaching tool and a great motivator for learning. Rhymes are easier to learn and remember than non-rhymes and that is why many learning tools for older children and adults still include rhyme.

Rhyme is important to emergent literacy and learning to read because it teaches children about the language. Rhyming helps children learn about word families such as let, met, pet, wet, and get. Rhyming also teaches children the sound of the language. Other important skills include phonological awareness, the ability to notice and work with the sounds in language. Rhymes help children with phonemic awareness, which is the knowledge that phonemes are the smallest units of sounds that make up words. This awareness leads to reading and writing success.

Rhyme also teaches children who are learning to read about the patterns and structures of both spoken and written language. Songs and rhymes expose your child to the rhythm of the language. This will help them read with some animation in their voice instead of just a monotone. Rhyme also prepares children to make predictions while learning words and gives them crucial decoding skills.

While learning to read is difficult and challenging for most children, rhyme can help make the task both easier and more fun, teach important language skills, and teach language patterns and structure. These three benefits are important reasons to make rhyme a part of your child's early childhood.

Deanna Mascle shares more ways to use rhyme when learning to read with the free ebook "Rhyming To Reading" at