11 Top Tips For Helping Your Child Read
11 Top Tips For Helping Your Child Read
Reading is one of the most important things that children learn how to do. When they learn how to read they open up all kinds of doors for themselves. For some kids learning how to read comes easy, but for others it is a struggle. No matter what group your child falls into it is very important that you instill in them a love of reading.
Reading is one of those fundamental skills that children can’t live without. Without learning how to read children will never be quite as successful in life, so it’s important to help them now while they still have a chance. The more a child works at reading the easier it will become. How you help your child read will depend on you, but the important thing to remember is to be consistent. To see the best results your child will need to practice every night.
Now obviously not all children are going to turn into book worms, no matter how much you might try. Often those who struggle with reading learn to simply tolerate it. No matter the case here are some tips that you can put to use to help your child read.
Read every night
From the time your child is born until they can actually read on their own, you should read to them every night. And, honestly, some kids and parents alike will enjoy the parent reading even after the child has learned how to read. Now how long you read to your child each night is going to entirely depend on you, you can read as little as two pages or you can read as much as an entire chapter or more. One of the great things about reading out loud to your children is how much they enjoy it, plus it will help create in them a love for reading. How it helps them become a reader is they learn to spot high frequency words and pretty soon know them just by sight.
Follow Along With Your Finger
You don’t have to use a finger; anything will work just as long as you follow along with the words as you read. By following along with an object you are literally pointing at each word as you say it. This once again helps your child spot high frequency words and commit them to memory. As your child is first learning how to read focus on one or two high frequency words at a time. When you come across those words when reading don’t say the word out loud, allow your child to say the word. This will also help you determine if your child is following along with you or zoning out. You can also try saying the wrong word and allowing your child to correct you. As they become stronger readers they can start to read whole sentences or even paragraphs, alternating reading with a parent is always fun.
Use a reading chart
One of the things that helps kids the most is being able to track their successes. They like to see how much they have done, how much they have left, basically kids are very visual based. A great way to help track your child’s reading is to use a reading chart. How you create the reading chart will depend on you, but it can something as simple as the days of the week that can be checked off as your child practices. Kids are going to whine and cry about having to do something, especially if it is something they find difficult to do, by rewarding them at the end of each week for reading every day you will have a lot more eager readers.
Make a bookmark
Now this isn’t going to really help with the actual reading, although it can be used to follow along with the words. However, making a special bookmark can make the reading experience a bit more fun. One of the best ideas is to make a special book mark for each book you are currently reading. Have your child design the bookmark based on what they think the story is going to be about. Then use that bookmark in the book to hold your place until you are done reading it.
Read during breakfast
Research has shown that many kids do far better reading first thing in the morning after a good night’s sleep then they do at the end of a long day. So rather than reading at night have your child read to you first thing in the morning. This can be hard to work into a routine, but you literally only need about 10 minutes. If you have older children enlist their help in helping the younger ones read while you are getting breakfast ready.
One of the greatest things about word games is they can be played anywhere and they help build your child’s vocabulary. With really young children you can play a game that involves spotting certain letters of the alphabet or with children who are just starting to read have them see if they can spot certain high frequency words on signs. Other games you can play include games like word association games that have you say the first word you think of when a certain word is said, I Spy is another great one. All of these games can be played in the car, in restaurants or even in a doctor’s office. Not only will they help your child develop reading and vocabulary skills, they also help pass the time.
Read with them
Children often learn by example. What this means for children who are learning how to read is they are going to mimic your behavior and hobbies. So, basically if you are not reading they are going to be less likely to read. Parents who read in front of their children often find that their children are more inclined to pick up a book and start reading. To help encourage your child to read set aside a time each day where both you and your children sit and read quietly with no other distractions. It is also a great way to unwind after a long, busy day.
Use the newspaper
One of the easiest ways to get your child interested in reading is finding them something they enjoy reading. And you would think with all of the book choices out there it would be something easy to do, but sometimes all those books can be a bit overwhelming. If you use the newspaper you can cut out interesting articles that your child might enjoy reading. Once you have cut them out have you or your child read them out loud, just as you would a book. After reading the piece talk about what the piece was about, building comprehension helps with reading. Discussions also make great vocabulary building exercises.
Visit your local library or bookstore
Honestly the more you expose your children to books the more they are going to enjoy them. Local libraries and book stores are great for exposing your child to books, plus they have something for everyone. One of the things to really take advantage of with young children at libraries and book stores is story time. Libraries also offer a summer reading program that rewards kids for reading.
When helping your child read variety is important. If they read the same thing over and over again they are not going to improve their reading skills. You will also want to expose them to all different kinds of reading materials, whether it is read along CDS, magazines, newspapers, etc. The more options they have the better. Children tend to lose interest rather quickly, so giving them something new to read each week is a great way to hold their attention.
Take advantage of as many teaching aids as possible when it comes to helping your child read. Computer programs, books on CD, games, and even workbooks can all help improve basic reading and comprehension skills. The best part is the kids don’t even know they are learning, as they are having so much fun.
Just remember when it comes to helping your child learn to read you are their biggest advocate. You need to know what milestones they should be reaching and when. The best way to find this information is to talk with your child’s teacher. They will also be able to tell you if your child is on track, ahead of the curve, or if they are struggling.
Many times you as the parent are the first one to spot reading problems; teachers often don’t spot them until they have become rather serious. If you discover that your child has problems reading don’t wait, the problem is not going to disappear, and it is only going to get worse. The sooner you seek help for your child the better. When seeking help for your child’s reading problem make sure you look at all your resources, including your child’s teachers, learning centers, as well as tutors.