Reading is the cornerstone of your child’s academic endeavours. Reading well is essential when covering the vast amounts of academic work that school students face. Even young readers can benefit from time saved by reading comprehensively. By teaching your child to read, you open up a whole new world of information and ideas.
Your child should learn to read for pleasure too. Reading fiction helps students to develop healthy imaginations which encourage dynamic thinking and problem solving. Obtaining information and learning about the world is made easier if your child is a confident reader.
There are many ways to help both the struggling reader and those who wish to excel at reading. Here are some tips for parents who wish to instil a love of reading in their children.
- Start daily story time for younger children. Reading aloud to your child helps them to form a positive view of books and reading. When they are comfortable with the routine, ask them to read some of the story. Add a few more words, sentences and finally pages when they become accustomed to reading aloud.
- Point to the words as you read so that children get used to the way words look. This will make words easier for them to recognise.
- Ask your child to tell you the story in her own words to develop reading comprehension.
- Ask your child about the characters in the story and what he thinks of their actions. When you are reading, stop periodically and ask what he thinks will happen next. This helps to keep children involved with the story.
- Don’t limit your child’s reading to academic material. If you child wants to read manga, comics or magazines, encourage this behaviour as a way to get your child to read. Get friends and relatives to give your child books or magazine subscriptions as Christmas gifts.
- Incorporate reading into daily activities. Ask your child to read the newspaper to find out what the weather will be like. Ask him to help with the cooking by reading recipes aloud. He can also read the instruction manuals for electronics or when you are assembling furniture. Ask him to read the GPS instructions when you are driving. Get him to look up things on the Internet, like where to get take-out or for fun things to do on weekends. He can read Christmas cards aloud and emails from family members.
- Be patient. Getting frustrated makes children feel nervous and apprehensive. Foster positive attitudes towards reading by remaining upbeat and cheerful. If you see your child getting frustrated, take a short break.
- Record your child’s reading and play it back to them so that they can work on tone and timing and pronunciation. This is especially helpful for advanced readers.
Most importantly; have fun and make reading time, quality time.