Reading is one of the most important skills a person may find useful for their entire life. In this society where literacy is the key to success, learning to read becomes a fundamental part of a child’s life. But literacy doesn’t begin only when a child starts attending school. Unfortunately, many parents tend to forget this since they believe reading is a natural process.
As babies grow into children, they gradually gather skills they will use in reading. The tender years of three to five are the critical ages for reading growth. But teaching them to read is one of the greatest struggles of every parent. They look for the right books and strategies to make their children read faster. But this technique can be very ineffective, especially if the child is suffering from learning disabilities.
Although reading is a complex process, there is a much easier way to encourage kids to read and develop an interest in it. These brain-stimulating exercises require persistence and patience for the part of the parents to ensure successful results. In this article, we will discover straightforward strategies to make reading a rewarding and positive experience for your child.
Set an example
If the child did not develop a love for reading at an early age, their interest will rapidly die down if no one is setting a good example at home. Even if you are not an avid fan of reading, make it an effort to set an example to kids at home by letting them find you holding a book and reading for a few minutes every day. It can be a Bible, magazine, cookbook, novel, or any genre you find interesting.
Another technique is to bring your child to a bookstore and allow them to pick at least one book for every visit. You can buy one for yourself to encourage them to do the same thing. If they are having a hard time picking, help them by picking colorful books with interesting stories to capture their interest. Make this a regular habit to make bookstore visits an enjoyable one and something they will look forward to.
While at home, demonstrate that reading is an enriching activity every adult must do. You will find this technique useful if you have energetic kids at home who are not very fond of reading. You can capture their interest if they notice family members are reading. Also, making time for your kids to read together is a great way to set an example for them.
Teaching a child to read should start during infancy. But this doesn’t mean you should join reading programs claiming to teach a baby how to read an alphabet flashcard. Learning starts if you begin reading as soon as the newborn baby arrives.
Although a baby is still too young to understand a bedtime story, reading with them is a great bonding time, which instills their love for reading. As the child builds their interest and enjoyment towards reading, this will serve as a great predictor of learning once they reach their school-age. In contrast, if the child did not develop an interest in reading at an early age, it will likely affect their ability to learn at school.
The amount of reading time depends on the time you are willing to devote, but it is advisable to read three to four books per day while the child is still young. As the child gets older, set a goal for the family to allot 20 minutes for reading each day.
While reading with a child, make it a habit to ask questions to encourage interaction. Doing this is a great way to develop a child’s ability to understand what they are reading.
It is not enough for a child to effectively pronounce words when reading. They may decode and read words with fluency, but they still won’t comprehend the words. If they cannot understand what they are reading, then you failed to reach the target goal.
Start by asking questions directed to the story. Not only will it develop their vocabulary, but it will also encourage a child to interact and understand the book. If they are asking silly questions repeatedly, make a conscious effort by answering them instead of getting annoyed.
Teaching a child how to read is not a one size fits all approach. Every child has different learning needs and absorbs information at different paces. It is important to recognize their preferred learning process and the ways to make reading enjoyable for them. As you guide them in this learning journey, use this chance to create a special bond with your child and make positive memories with them.