Reading skills are among the most fundamental and vital learning skills. These skills need to be cultivated in a child in the early most years of his learning. Without the appropriate reading skills, a child will never be able to understand his lessons
effectively leading to lack of confidence and decreased desire to continue with the lessons. Parents and teachers should make sure that they set to work on their child’s reading skills from the early years and not just teach them how to read but also help them develop fluency in reading. They should try to identify the reading problems of their child early and take action as soon as possible so that their child never lags behind and is always able to catch up with his classmates. Problems not addressed early can impact a child well into adult life and helping him early will give him the best opportunity to be successful.
Reading opens the door to a world of adventure, culture, diversity and knowledge, and is an activity vital to the development of curiosity and a love of learning. To have your child enjoy these benefits, you need to help develop and enhance your child’s reading skills. Here are 10 tips for improving your kid’s reading skills:
Surround him with a variety of books: By surrounding your kid with a variety of books and other reading materials around the house and classroom, he gets more inclined to pick them up and indulge in them. You don’t only need to surround him with his course books, as they may not always arouse his interest. Provide books on a variety of topics that will arouse his curiosity and will encourage him to delve into them. Don’t restrict to providing him just books, but also try to provide other reading material such as newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.
Allow him to practice his reading comprehension using websites: There are websites available which are particularly created to help in reading comprehension. Your kid may find them more engaging and interactive than the hard copied books. Websites for reading are available for all age groups of children. For kids, sites like Scholastic or Starfall provide a lot of online books in a variety of genres in visually striking and attractive formats to keep them interested.
Allow him to play online games which can help improve vocabulary: There are many online games which are available for free which can help your kid improve his vocabulary which is vital in developing reading comprehension. These games can include crossword puzzles, picture-word matches and word scramble. They also contain themed word lists, test prep items and activities on prefixes and suffixes. These sites can be bookmarked for independent practice and your kid can refer them whenever he wants.
Provide audio books or a text-to-speech tool: Audio books are a read-aloud version of a book. Kids can be greatly assisted in their reading if the books are read-aloud, as they don’t have to wonder about how to pronounce words which are new to them or are complex for them to read on their own. They can listen to these books on their headphones and can read along with a printed version to improve comprehension skills. Text-to-speech tools can be mounted on the browser toolbar for easy access while reading and are usually available for free download. A lot of kids find reading through this format more interesting and fun.
Allow access to online word reference tools: These serve as great resources for teaching. Whenever your kid gets stuck with words while reading, he can use these tools to refer to words that baffle him. He can explore the words, by learning their meaning, pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms and more. They can widen their knowledge and learn about other applications of a word and also discover related words. Also, with such tools reading can be supported just-in-time and kids don’t have to wait your assistance to carry on with their reading.
Relate reading to other areas of your kid’s life: Have him read some material and then discuss it in relationship to other books, movies, news or TV shows. If he is able to connect what has been read to things related to his life, then it enables him to think abstractedly about the material. Also assess whether your kid was able to get the message that was intended by the writers or authors and discuss what he particularly liked about the topics he read.
Consider enrolling him on a reading programme: This can be a supplementary activity which your kid can benefit from outside of school. Select a programme carefully, and make sure it aims to develop a high-reading ability and can nurture a life-long love of reading in your kid. Your kid can attend such programmes with his friends, have fun and develop the essential reading skills at the same time.
Make him part of an online library: An online library serves the same purposes that a traditional library does, but helps save on time of visits, costs of registration and eliminates the responsibility of handling books. Libraries provide a wealth of books to choose from and being a regular part of it can instill reading habits in your kids.
Read to each other: Reading to your kid will make him excited about the stories and allow him to learn the text that he is not able to read on his own. Also, encourage him to read to you so you can assess his reading skills and correct him wherever he goes wrong. You must set time for reading with your child daily so that his practice of reading is maintained.
Repeated reading: Re-reading material repeatedly is an instructional tool that can improve your kid’s reading abilities. It will also help him to read fluently and enhance his speed of reading. You can initiate this process by reading out passages for him at first and then encourage him to repeat. It leads to accurate reading, improved comprehension, self-correction and improvement in re-telling stories.
It should be realized that building reading skills is most essential and lays ground for the development of other learning skills in your child. I hope these tips can help you improve your kid’s reading skills. If you have more tips to share then please go ahead. The Comment Box awaits you.