Reading is a fundamental skill every child needs to learn to succeed in school and life.
While some children pick up reading quite easily, others may need a little more help and support from their parents.
Are you looking for ways to help your child learn to read?
Here are ten things every parent should know about helping their child develop reading skills.
From the early stages of learning to read to developing reading comprehension, these tips will help your child become a successful reader.
Ten things you should know if you’re looking for ways to help your child learn to read
1. The earlier you start, the better
Research has shown that children exposed to reading at a young age are more likely to develop strong reading skills.
Now is the perfect time to start if you haven’t already started reading aloud to your child.
2. Make it a part of your daily routine
One of the best ways to help your child develop a love for reading is to make it a part of your daily routine.
Whether reading together before bedtime or setting aside time each day for independent reading, carving out time for reading will send the message that it’s important to you.
3. Let them see you reading
Children learn best by example, so let them see you reading. Point out words and letters as you come across them in your reading material.
This will help them understand that printed words carry meaning, and that reading is a worthwhile activity.
4. Choose books that are interesting to them
It’s important to select books that are interesting and age-appropriate for your child.
If they’re not engaged with the material, they won’t want to read it.
Ask their teacher or librarian for recommendations if you’re unsure where to start.
5. Take turns reading aloud
When you’re reading together, take turns so that you are actively involved in the process.
This will help maintain your child’s interest and keep them engaged with the story.
6. Don’t rush through it
Try not to rush through the material so you can get it over with—reading should be enjoyable!
Slow down and emphasize different words and sounds as you come across them so that your child can follow along more easily.
7. Make connections between what they’re reading and their everyday life experiences
Kids learn best when they can relate their learning to their own lives.
As you read together, point out connections between the story and your child’s experiences (e.g., “Remember when we went to the park last week?
The character in this book is visiting the park for the first time, too!”).
8. Ask questions as you read
Asking questions while you read will encourage critical thinking and help check for understanding.
Instead of asking yes-or-no questions, try posing open-ended questions that require more than a one-word answer.
For example, ” What do you think will happen next ? ” or ” Why do you think the character made that choice ?”.
Open-ended questions will also allow your child to practice expressing themselves orally, which is an important skill in its own right.
9. Encourage them to retell the story after finishing
Once you’ve finished reading, ask your child questions about what happened in the story.
Encouraging them to retell the story in their own words will help them remember key details and develop their expressive language skills.
You could also ask them to draw pictures of their favorite scenes from the story.
10. Find other ways to incorporate literacy into your everyday life
In addition to carving out dedicated time for reading, look for other ways to incorporate literacy into your everyday activities.
For example, cooking together provides an opportunity to teach children about following directions.
At the same time, grocery shopping can be turned into a lesson on letter sounds, and beginning readers can practice sight words by looking for them on signs and labels around the house or in advertisements during a car ride.
Following these ten tips can help your child develop strong literacy skills that will set them up for success inside and outside the classroom!