How to Improve the Reading Skills of Your Child
The very best young readers are those that are taught to embrace the written word at school and at home. As parents, you can play a huge role in honing your child’s reading skills. Here are some steps you could take to ensure you’re doing all you can to help your child become a proficient reader.
Know That Parents Can Make a Difference
Reading isn’t an activity that should just be left to teachers and to time at school. Reading time between parents and children plays an incredibly important role in the development of a child’s life. It is never too early to spend some quality together reading.
Reading to your baby from birth, even for just a few minutes a day, gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and increases their exposure to language.
Irrespective of whether your child is only just beginning to learn to read or whether they are fluent, you can play a crucial role in helping to keep them interested in books. Find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading the books they bring home from school with them.
Make Reading Enjoyable
Central to all your efforts to help your children should be fun. At such a young age, children are incredibly impressionable. If they establish a negative impression of an activity, it can be hard to reverse that attitude as they are guided through their educational years. When you approach reading at home, either before they attend preschool or after, come from a place of enjoyment.
Reading stories and exploring the world around you with words can ignite your child’s imagination in those emergent reading years. When your child begins to develop reading skills, ensure you surround them with exciting material they can explore.
Make sure you share in that enjoyment. Reading can be a shared experience; dive into the same book and embark on all the twists and turns together. Your child will get a much more fulfilling experience and won’t see reading as a chore.
Don’t Make Learning a Series of Drills
Following on from the above, you can also consider introducing games that are more directly linked to learning to read. What this shouldn’t become is a series of drills. Your child will likely lose interest if it is. Gauge your child’s interests and try to tickle their curiosity with a series of word-related games.
For younger children, this might be as easy allowing them to spell their name in fun ways. Use magnets to spell it out on the fridge or get arty with some paints or stickers. For older children with greater reading skills, use classic word games like hangman.
Expand Reading Opportunities
To help expand a child’s understanding of everyday life, reading can be pushed well beyond the written book. Everything from menus in a restaurant to words on road signs can be harnessed to expand a child’s vocabulary.
Not only does it help children learn new words, it places them within a real-world context. In addition to learning a new word, they will be able to see an example of how it’s used.
There are plenty of resources that can directly help to inflame a child’s imagination through reading. Take your child to the local library and let them pick out some books that attract their attention. Schools may also have their own library you can take advantage of.
Students at Nord Anglia Education schools have access to the Global Library, a worldwide reading club developed for students of all ages. A part of the Global Campus, the Global Library consists of recommendations, competitions, and access to the world’s greatest writers. A place to debate, reflect and share in the excitement of reading, the Global Library is exactly the sort of tool your child can harness to develop a love of books.