Tips for improving reading skills

28 November, 2016

Tips for improving reading skills

What better way to instill a love of reading than by reading together?

On 7 November we shared some tips for helping your child choose the right book to read; choosing a book is the first step to developing a passion for reading, however, it is also important to ensure that your child looks forward to reading the book.

If they don’t feel confident about their vocabulary, or they don’t feel the urge to pick up a book and get stuck in, the book will just collect dust on the shelf. To help you ignite a love of reading in your child, we’ve shared some tips for improving their reading skills.

Read together
What better way to instil a love of reading than by reading together? A collaborative approach to reading can improve vocabulary, as your child will associate a word and its pronunciation by listening to you speak.

You can also discuss the meaning of new words, which they may have skipped over if reading alone. Sharing this reading experience with them should cause them to look forward to reading, as they also get to spend quality time with you.

A little, every day
Incorporate reading into your child’s daily routine; whether this is done independently or together, having a set story time each day will encourage the urge to pick up a book and incite excitement when it’s time to read a book.

Surround your children with reading material
Former American politician, Horace Mann, once said: “A house without books is like a room without windows.” He believed that the best way to encourage children to learn to read is by surrounding them with books, he also believed that a love of knowledge develops through reading.

With this in mind, having a good collection of books around your home means there is always a book to pick up. If your child is looking for an activity to do, you can encourage them to select a story to read and then tell you about after.

Read everywhere
There are opportunities to read everywhere you go, with no books necessary! When you’re in the supermarket, encourage your child to read the packaging and aisle signs; when you’re sitting in a waiting room, get them to read the posters and leaflets surrounding you; when you’re walking down the street they can read the road signs and shop names to you.

The opportunities are endless! Associating a word with an object will develop their vocabulary and pronunciation, and before long you will find them doing this without encouragement.

Join the library
A wonderful way to gain access to an endless supply of books is to join your local library. The librarian will be able to provide suggestions for what to read, as well as what to read next.

You can make a trip to the library an exciting event; let your child look after their own library card, encourage them to take ownership of selecting which books to read, checking them out, and returning them.

As with reading, make the trip to the library a part of their routine, whether it be weekly or monthly, so that they look forward to picking new books and feel motivated to finish the ones they have already brought home to read.

At Kumon we understand the importance and long-term benefits of reading. The Kumon English Programme works to develop a child’s ability to understand a wide variety of texts, and to instil a life-long love of reading for educational, professional and personal enjoyment. Alongside the programme, our students (both English and maths) are encouraged to select books from our Recommended Reading List.

This collection covers a wide variety of genres, from non-fiction to fantasy, and there is something suitable for all ages and abilities. A love of reading lasts a lifetime, so setting your child off on the right foot will ensure that they develop a long-lasting affinity with books.