Parents play a very important role in the development of their children's reading skills. Comprehension is the key for a child to achieve full appreciation of his/her subjects in school. This can lead to academic excellence in most, if not all, subjects. This is why parents need to work hand in hand with the teacher to properly guide and monitor children's progress in reading. Regular follow up meetings between parents and teacher will enable early detection of your child's reading strengths and weaknesses.
Fostering reading at home will surely help a lot for your child to do better in school. These 4 tips will guide you through easy and practical techniques.
Encourage Reading by Example
Children learn a lot through observation; seeing their parents take time to read newspapers or books will promote eagerness in them to do the same. Be sure to have enough reading materials at home for both you and the kids, so that you can read together during a scheduled reading time.
Read Stories to Your child
Parents should set a quality time, preferably before bedtime, to read stories to their child. Your child will be able to read well once he/she becomes more familiar with words. They will not completely understand all words at first, but word recognition and memorization is one huge step in advancing their reading skills. Promote active participation by letting them choose what story to read, ask what they think might happen next, or how a character might feel. Bear in mind that children come to appreciate a richer meaning of words through fascinating stories.
Establish Shorter Reading Sessions
Patience is something that most children don't have yet. Don't read with your child for 30 minutes if this length of time cannot totally hold his/her attention. It's much better to have 15-minute reading sessions twice a day; one in the day and another at night.
Make Reading an Enjoyable Experience
It is very important to establish a stress-free, leisure reading time with the kids. Make your sessions light and enjoyable for them and be sure that what you do at home is different from the structured learning in school. When reading to them, make it pleasant and loving as children gain more interest towards reading when they are snuggling with their parents.
- Choose reading materials that stimulate your child's curiosity of the things around them. Aside from storybooks, read other interesting but informative resources to them; e.g. books on dinosaurs and astronauts.
- Make flash cards containing different words and use them for reading games
- Take a fun walk and ask them to read signs that you pass by along the way
- Stack reading materials in the car and enjoy some reading games while taking them to school or running some errands
- Go to the library together, and let them read any book of their choice
Teaching and encouraging your child to read is a complex process. Parents should understand that children obtain reading skills at different paces; some kids will learn fast and some will not. Parents should be there not only as trainers, but more importantly as supporters of their endeavors.