Reading is a critically important skill. Children who read early and often will find themselves able to comprehend and process text better than those who aren’t consistently reading. Unfortunately, a vast majority of children don’t read as frequently or as well as they should. But it doesn’t mean they can’t become better readers; it just takes some effort for both the child and parent.
A child does not learn to read overnight; it is a process that takes years of practice and commitment for success. However, parents can make a positive difference in a child’s reading skills by actively participating in their education and knowing the most effective strategies for improving reading skills. This article discusses nine different methods you can use with children to help them improve their reading skills.
Set a Reading Schedule
Children need to be taught the value of practicing the things they need to learn. For reading, this includes practicing with reading material on their own. Children will need to spend time each day reading alone to continue improving. As they grow older, this amount of time will increase. Start simple by having your child read for 10-15 minutes at a time. Then gradually increase the amount of time that your child is asked to read each day.
Teach Your Child to Read Aloud
Reading isn’t just something that you do on your own; it’s also done with others. When children are learning how to read, reading aloud is one of the most effective ways to learn the different sounds represented by letters. Starting early with this practice will help them maintain their reading skills as they get older.
Give Your Child Choices in What They Read
There are many different types of reading material available to children today. Magazines, Montessori-friendly books, and newspapers are examples of literature children can read to improve their reading skills. You can also provide them books in different genres like animal books for kids. These are reliable books to read when teaching a child the basics of reading, since they feature short stories which are best for a child’s short attention span.
Help Your Child Understand What They’re Reading
Children who understand what they are seeing or reading will enjoy it more and retain the information better. You can help by asking them questions about what they’ve read. It will help to reinforce the information and make them better readers as well as smarter thinkers. For instance, when you read your child a book about dinosaurs, take some time to pause and ask questions like: ‘What do you think will happen next?’ or “What do you think happened to the dinosaurs?” It will help with their ability to process information in a logical way.
Provide Your Child with Visual Aids
Another way to improve reading skills is to provide visual aids such as pictures and illustrations. It will make it easier for children to understand what they’re reading and better retain the information. There are also many books containing illustrations with the main purpose of teaching children the different types of words. By using these books, it’s possible to increase a child’s interest in reading and therefore their desire to become better readers.
Read To Your Child at Bedtime
It is one of the best ways to help your child learn to read. Find books appropriate for your child’s age and readiness level, but make sure that the book is interesting for your child to read by themselves when they are in bed at night. When this becomes a habit, it will help their reading skills when they are older. Click here for tips on reading aloud.
Use Other Ways to Practice Reading Aside from Books
Reading isn’t just about sitting down and trying to decipher words from a book. There are many other methods to help improve a child’s reading skills. For instance, you can have your child read aloud while driving or have them read signs when you are out running errands. If your child likes to help you prepare for dinner, let them choose a recipe from your favorite cookbook and have them read the steps to you. Just make reading fun for your kids.
Take Your Child to the Library
A library is a great place for a child to find books he can read to improve his reading skills. In the library, children can find books appropriate for their age level and interests. They can check out these books so they have them available to read at home. It will help increase the amount of time your children spend reading each week, positively affecting their reading skills.
Always Remember that Every Kid is Different
Some children have a knack for reading and will pick up the skill quickly, while others don’t have it as easy. For those children who have a difficult time learning to read, it’s best not to try to force them to learn a skill that they aren’t interested in first. Instead, you will need to make sure that you modify your techniques to suit your child’s needs and abilities. The more time and effort you spend helping them learn the process, the sooner they will learn to read and become a better reader. But if your children already love reading and have started strong, encourage them by letting them know you’re proud of their progress.
The tips above are a few of many strategies that you can use at home to help improve a child’s reading skills. Following these tips can give a child a head start on reading and help them maintain their interest in it.
Author Bio: I’m Andrea Gibbs, born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Montessori Academy to motivate and educate other parents about how they can get their children ahead of the game in school