According to studies, a child’s reading process begins with memorization before alphabet and sounds recognition. This process of development applies to any language. For example, our children are likely to remember Bismillah and Al-Fatihah before they even recognize the letters. That memorization will be a great help when the time comes for them to learn and sound out words. So, which should we prioritize: Memorization or Reading?
Memorization isn’t necessarily “wrong”. In fact, it is part of the process of language acquisition. It’s a normal process that all children go through. What educators and parents can do however, is to provide the right support that will help them build their reading development from there. Think of the alphabet song. It is one of the first few songs that we teach our children, is it not? Even before they know each individual alphabet, they are likely to be familiar with the song first. In school, teachers pair their familiarity with that song with activities that will introduce and familiarize them with the alphabet.
“If a child masters both memorization and reading, are they considered to be intelligent?” Perhaps another question worth thinking about is: Why are we so quick to label our children? When we speak of intelligence, it shouldn’t just be measured through reading and memorization skills. Intelligence is like a spectrum, and it isn’t like a one-size-fits-all type thing. All children are intelligent in different ways, and that’s what makes them special!
Most preschool children benefit greatly from kinesthetic activities that involves touch, feel and self-experience. How do we make reading attractive to them? Well, reading is so much more than text on paper! There are definitely ways to get them to build their reading skills that don’t involve actual books. One of the ways that we can do that is to make use of their interests! For example, if your child is obsessed with dinosaurs, get reading materials that have dinosaurs! There are also tons of literacy games that you can do at home with your child.
(PS: We discuss this a lot during our Crayon Loves Ibu sessions! Be on the lookout for our next one!)
At Genius Aulad, we see memorization as one the many steps that children will use in building their literacy skills. Through our one-on-one reading sessions, our teachers will always ensure that their progress is documented every day. Other than the Starter Words Reading Series, our teachers also utilize materials and activities that suit their interests. For every method or trick that doesn’t work on the child, our teachers will always be equipped with 10 others. In shaa Allah! 😉