The earlier you start to support your child’s reading capabilities, the greater the chance they’ll have of showing significant growth in literacy. As Fahim Imam-Sadeque explains, reading helps children thrive in many aspects of life.
Parents can play a huge role in their children’s reading abilities. Here are five ways you can help your child improve their reading skills.
1. Give them Options
As any parent knows, what a child might be interested in one day, they might be utterly uninterested in the next. So, a great way to improve your child’s reading abilities is to give them lots of reading options.
When you have a large selection of books from which they can choose, children are likely to find something that interests them on any given day. This ensures they are picking up a book often, no matter their particular mood on that day.
It would help if you also had books easily accessible throughout the spaces they frequent the most. This includes not just their bedroom but common areas of the house and in the car.
2. Let them Choose
Children love to feel as if they are in control. When parents give children the power to choose, they are often more interested in whatever they choose — whether it be clothing, food or reading.
Next time you’re at a bookstore, allow your children to choose the book they want to purchase. Then, you can guide them to a specific section or even a particular shelf from which they can choose to ensure the material is appropriate for their age.
Even this little choice is likely to help encourage them to read more.
3. Make it a Family Activity
Children thrive when they’re provided with a routine. This applies to eating, sleeping, taking a bath, and even reading. For example, when you set aside time every day to read, children are more likely to be active and engaged in reading from a young age.
And when the entire family is included in the reading activity, it helps your children associate positive feelings with reading. This will ultimately help them develop a love of learning on their own as they grow older.
4. Expand Beyond Books
A child’s first exposure to reading often comes from books, but books aren’t the only source from which they can gain reading skills. A lot of a child’s practical reading skills are built outside of books as they get older.
As parents, you can help your child improve their reading abilities by integrating reading comprehension into other activities. For example, if your child loves to cook, have them read and interpret a written recipe.
You can have your child look up movie times at a local theatre, read the hours that a store or museum is open, or even read road signs as you’re driving.
Integrating reading skills outside of traditional books will improve their reading skills and enhance their understanding of the world around them.
5. Stay Involved
Fahim Imam-Sadeque says that reading skills are built over a lifetime, not just when children are young. So, one of the most effective ways that parents can help their child improve their reading abilities is to always stay involved in their learning and encourage them along the way.
Different children may face different roadblocks and challenges while building reading skills. When you stay involved in their learning and pay attention to what’s giving them trouble, you can help them work through any challenges they may face.
This, of course, is a strategy you can use for any skill your child is trying to learn.