5 Ways to Improve your Child’s Reading
Do you love to read? Does your child love to read? Do you find it frustrating that you are not able to pass your love of reading to your child? Do you wish maybe there were 5 steps to raise an avid reader?
Our children are born into a world of many distractions. My children do not know a life without computers, iTouches, X-boxes. While I am not that old, it’s hard to believe I finished college with only limited use of computers (mostly just typing papers). The Internet was just starting when I was in school and I don’t think Google even existed.
With all these changes and distractions, as parents should not be surprised that children are choosing to spend less time reading for the joy of reading, and more time on games. But, we can still help our child learn to love reading.
5 Steps to Raise An Avid Reader
Be a model of good reading for your child.
Show your child you enjoy reading and spend time reading for pleasure. Share with your child stories and examples you have learned from a book or magazine you have recently read. You could read traditional printed books and electronic books.
Encourage your child to read independently in small steps.
Children develop reading skills at different stages. Not every child will be ready to read long chapter books at the same age. Age, gender, personal interests, and maturity all affect your child’s desire to read independently. If you nurture your child where they are not where you or the school expects your child to be, you will help their independent reading skills improve. Use your own instincts to determine if your child’s reading level is right, not preset standards.
If your child is a reluctant reader, choose interesting and exciting stories and read them aloud together.
Reading aloud helps improve your child’s imagination. Reading together will also help your child process the larger themes in stories. As a parent, you might even get to read a story or two you missed as a child.
Celebrate the small improvements.
Recognize and praise your child when their independent reading skills are improving. For example, my oldest child (in 5th grade) has always struggled with reading. I have noticed he takes more ownership of his homework and will complete assignments with less parental guidance. He is able to read the questions and locate the answers by reading his textbook less assistance from me. This independence is a huge step forward for him and as he continues to grow will help him in middle school and high school.
Reading skills do not always develop fast, be patient with your child.
When you continue to model good reading skills and encourage your child to read on their own, with time your child will recognize the value and joy reading for themselves.
As parents who love to read, we want our children to be great readers from the start and read all the great books. Our job is to guide our children through the process and help improve their skills so that some day they will become the avid readers we know they can be.
How do you help your child read? What are your favorite ways to make reading fun?