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How to Improve child’s reading

Reading is an incredible skill. It’s the key that unlocks the treasure of knowledge for the child.

Reading is also very crucial in your child’s academic performance. It’s called a cross cutting ability. Because if a child is good at reading. It will help him in performing better in all subject areas.

But, do all children learn to read at the same pace? The answer is “NO”.

Why?

Well, all children have different height, weight, skin tone and hair texture. Similarly, learning curve of each child is different.

But if you feel that your child is not doing good in reading? Is a reluctant reader? Does not find reading interesting? Avoids activities involving reading?

 Or you simply want to accelerate reading achievement of your child.

Here is the Good News!

You can help your child in finding this key of “Reading” to open the treasure of knowledge. Just follow these simple strategies. Make reading exciting for your child.  And improve his ability to read.

1.    Establish Importance of Reading from Early Age

Developmental psychology implies that early years define what a child will become in future. Infancy and early childhood are very important in his personality building.

So, if you want your child to develop a skill. Start working on it from very early life of your child.

The child might not be able to grasp the importance of certain activities at that time. But positive habits engrained at an early age, become natural way of life. 

Its very important that reading is introduced at a very early age. The child might not be able to read at that time. But presenting reading as a pleasurable activity is very important.

Different childhood activities can positively contribute to reading readiness. Reading bed time stories is one such effective strategy.

In fact, reading to your child has multiple benefits:

  • Its an effective way of adding quality to family time.
  • It also helps in building vocabulary of your child.
  • It improves communication skills of the child.
  • It also helps the child in perceiving reading as a fun way of learning.

Having reading corner or book library at home can encourage children to read. Try to collect colorful and interesting books with pictures.

Encourage your children to read books. Taking turns while reading a story and having reading competitions motivate the children for reading.

2.    Reading through the daily routine

You do not really need expensive learning material to make reading interactive. Be creative, and you can find resources scattered around your home.

Just look around in your surroundings. You will discover that there are lots of text and signs around us.

Make use of this resource to help your child read. Here are few examples:

  • Encourage the child to help you in the kitchen. Request him to find ingredients by reading names and identifying logos on the packaging.
  • While travelling, identify letters and brands on hoardings, sign boards etc.
  • Play alphabet or word finding games with old newspapers and magazines.
  • While shopping, encourage the child to find required products from aisles.
  • Ask the child to read price tags and expiring dates.

Use your creativity, and you will be able to add many activities to it.

3.    Reading Fluency

In early grades children learn to read words. But quite often they struggle in reading fluently.

Few easy techniques can help them in pacing reading appropriately.

Touch & Read

A very simple yet effective technique for staying focused on reading is touch and read. Ask the child to keep the finger on text while reading.

It helps in improving attention and minimizing distraction. And also helps in controlling the pace of reading.

Bonus: Slow paced, touch and read activity is also effective for children having mild fluency disorder (mild stuttering).

Reading Buddies

You might have heard that children do what they observe, rather than what they are told. So, model reading fluency to your child.

You can use the strategy of “Reading Buddies”. Partner with your child while reading a story. Read dialogues of two characters through role play.

It allows you to model reading fluency. And child gets an opportunity to practice reading fluency in an interactive way.

Group phrases

A slightly advanced technique can be adding dash (-) or using tab option to re-type the text.

Space or dash between groups of words denotes pause while reading. This technique helps the child in learning to give pause between phrases.

4.    Read Aloud

Children grow up listening to stories being read by parents or other family members. Your style of reading imprints in their minds.

Reading aloud to your child can help him in learning correct pronunciation.

When children start to read by themselves. Some of them require auditory input to correct their own reading. This is why, reading aloud is considered a good technique for struggling readers.

You can ask your child to read aloud at home. It will help you in correcting his reading mistakes. It will also enable him to practice self-evaluation and self-improvement techniques.

Gradually the child can bring reading aloud to the self-whispering level. 

5.    Write Notes

Do you write notes or messages to your family?

Quite understandably refrigerator magnets and hand written notes have been replaced by cell phones.

But sometimes incorporating old fashioned ways can bring interest to life. Try bringing “Note writing” practice back in your lives.

Write to your child

Try to write small notes for your child. Such as:  

  • Reminder for keeping cloths in a specific cabinet.
  • Note telling where the chocolates are stored in the kitchen.
  • A quote about healthy eating put as a note in the lunch box.

These small gestures will not only make your bond with the child stronger. Your child will also learn self-discipline. Your personal touch will assure him that you are always there for him.

AND at the same time, it will improve his READING.

Written instructions

Try to replace verbal commands with written instructions.

For example, write down the rules for a guessing game. Ask every member to read the instructions before starting the game.

Make Cooking fun

Following written recipes for easy cooking can be another interesting activity. Have family cooking days. And follow written recipes.

Sneaking reading into interesting games can un-knowingly motivate your child to read.

Make your child write

Reading and writing go hand in hand. Writing practice strengthens the reading skill of the child.

If your child wants to request for a new toy or wants to give any explanation. Instead of speaking, ask him to write it down.

6.    Make Reading Interactive

Make reading interesting and appealing for your child. Add interactive activities and joy to it.

For example, if you are reading story to your children:

  • Also act out according to the characters of stories.
  • Change pace and pitch of your voice to make story more engaging.  
  • Let the child explain the pictures in the story.  
  • When child gets familiar with the story, gradually involve him in storytelling.
  • While reading, ask him probing questions. For example, what will happen next? why do you like the hero in the story?
  • Repeat interesting dialogues of main characters of the story.

7.    Take Technological Support

For tech savvy generation, using technology in learning can be highly effective. Different educational games, soft wares and online platforms can be used for improving reading.

You can use phonics games to facilitate the learning of word formation. Similarly reading games are available for different grade levels.

If your child is a visual learner, use video stories with subtitles. Allow your child to watch the stories. Gradually encourage him to mute the video and read the subtitles.

This practice allows the child to read fluently. While video keeps reading from getting boring.

If your child prefers learning through auditory input. You can use audio books to supplement text books. Even you can record audio version of books in your own voice for your child.

Conclusion

If you want to help your child become a proficient reader. Avoid making it look boring or stressful. Introduce reading at an early age. And make reading a pleasant experience.

If your child has specific learning, attention or behavior challenges. There are specific strategies for teaching reading to children with ADHD and children with Dyslexia.

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