Developing Readers: How to Help Children Improve Their Reading Skills
Nurturing the development of your children’s reading skills is essential to ensure that they are able to not only read but also comprehend written content and instructions in school. Both parents and teachers often find themselves passionately advocating for storytime. However, without building foundational reading and comprehension skill-sets it can be difficult, if not impossible, for kids to enjoy the stories and reading materials like textbooks. So, we’ll take a look at the different ways of instilling a love for reading and stories in your child.
Tips for Developing Readers
Rewards for reading
The biggest reward we can give our children is letting them know that what they are doing matters to you as parents. Acknowledge and show your appreciation for their effort. Moreover, you can also use rewards as encouragement, like promising a trip to their favorite restaurant after reading a certain number of books every week.
Surprisingly, the average person reads words relatively slowly and comprehends even less. So, be firm when it comes to your child's reading speed by asking him or her to sound out each word before continuing. Doing so will instill a sense of responsibility and concentration. You can even time the reading of your child if needed.
Many children who hear the same story more than once tend to benefit by learning new words and enjoying the repetition. Repetition of books can also help build confidence as children learn to recognize familiar words and concepts.
Find a book your child likes
Read books that match your children's interests so that reading is fun and exciting. For example, if children love animals, suggest some animal-related stories in order to keep them engaged.
Have books easily accessible
Children need to be surrounded by books, and the best place is in your home. Fill each corner of your home with books, including their bedside table, in the bathroom, and especially in their playroom.
It’s important to read to children with expression, as this helps enrich their developing imagination and piques their interest. Changing your voice inflection based on the characters and dialogue is a great way to instill a love for reading.
After you finish reading, ask children how they relate to the characters and what they feel about each scene. This type of discussion can inspire them to think more deeply, and perhaps help them enjoy both fiction and biographical books more.
Start a book club
Reading is an individual activity, which might not be desirable for some children. To encourage teamwork, start a small book club during which friends can meet and discuss their favorite books. Having a reading buddy can make your child more inclined to enjoy reading even more.
Read for fun
While it is important to instill a love for reading in children, forcing them to read will lead to resentment. It’s best to encourage your children's interests before pushing them into new things. Remember that reading should be viewed as an enjoyable activity, not just a boring academic obligation.
Children of all ages can relate to the events of their daily lives, and writing helps us express our emotions. Journaling encourages us to think and come up with solutions. Reading and writing about their thoughts can also help children become increasingly confident as they get older.
Reading every day
Read every single day, even if it is just for ten minutes or less. Raising a reader in your family includes encouraging reading as a daily pastime. Soon, you'll notice that children will pick up a book and read even without you telling them.
Talk about books
Unlike movies, books require the active participation of the reader in order to truly appreciate them. Discuss what is happening in each chapter or plotline with your child. Then let children guide you into their world. This activity will provide more insight into children’s imaginations and help them become more independent readers.
Learning how to read proficiently is a crucial element of every child’s educational journey. No matter what professional field children pursue in the future, the ability to read will help them immensely in the future. There are many ways to help kids improve their reading skills.
One way to help your child is to encourage reading at home, whether it’s books, magazines, comics, or any other reading materials. The more kids practice reading, the more their vocabulary will grow. When it comes time to learn how to read or when they start school, they will be ahead of the game because they will have already discovered how much fun learning can be!
Our small group programs at Mrs. Myers' Learning Lab are great for developing readers. Call us today for more information!