Five ways to help children with their reading

Dec 2011
Ways to help children read better
Reading .... a valuable life skill

Reading is probably the most important skill children learn at early ages. Although school teachers normally teach kids to read, parents should also read with their child at home as often as possible for further improvement.

Reading is something that your children will use every single day for the rest of their lives, so the more they practise and improve on it, the more it will benefit them later on in life.

These are five good ways to help kids read within the family environment:

Read to each other
Reading to your kids is an activity that most children love. The time you spend with them makes them feel loved, while the story they are listening to inspires their imagination and helps them discover that reading can be synonymous with fun and entertainment.

As well as reading to them, it is very important that your child reads to you. Be patient with their mistakes and pay attention to the story. If they feel you are ignoring them they will lose motivation. Reading to their parents will also make them feel like "adults", which will empower their self-confidence.

Ask questions about the story
In order to improve their comprehension of what they are reading, ask them questions about the story. What is it about? Who is the main character? As well as general questions, ask them specific questions about the book.

Once young children learn to read, many of them believe that being fast is the most important thing about reading. Asking them about the story will force them to focus, pay attention and understand the information they are reading.

Enrol at the local library
Libraries are a great gift that a majority of parents don't take enough advantage of. Even in the smallest local library, your child will be able to discover a paradise of books of any kind. This will boost their interest in reading; the more choices they have, the more motivation they will have to read.

Like adults, every child likes different topics. Because of this, being able to choose from a wide range of possibilities will make them more independent and realise that books are not boring.

Look up for unknown words
Sometimes children lose interest in reading because their vocabulary is still not wide enough to understand all the words. To prevent this happening, show them how quick and easy it is to learn new words by teaching them to find them in the dictionary.

Children love to learn new things and by looking up new or unusual work up in the dictionary, they will gain autonomy and self-confidence.

Be a good example
A child does what they see at home. So if you want your child to read and improve their reading skills, they should see you reading too. Kids behave as their parents do, for better and for worse.