While it is true that children spend a significant portion of their day with their teachers, it is often their parents who wield more power to encourage them to read. However, a lot of parents are unclear as to how they can achieve this. The following steps outline some ways in which parents can improve their children’s’ reading skills.
Be enthusiastic about your children’s reading: Everyone needs encouragement and your children are no different. Praise them for their effort. If you show enthusiasm for reading, they will pick up on it and be enthusiastic about it too.
Set aside a regular reading time every day: Set up a schedule, even if it just involves reading a bedtime story out loud together. Your child will look forward to getting to spend time with you and will strengthen their reading skills as well.
Make reading a family affair: Seeing everyone else read will inspire your children to read as well. Put aside some time, maybe 15-20 minutes every day for the family to just sit and read quietly.
Ensure that you home is filled with reading material for your children: Encourage your children to read by providing a lot of fun and exciting material at their reading level. Put the reading materials everywhere…in cars, bathrooms, family rooms, and by the television.
Don’t just stick to traditional reading activities: Encourage your children to read whenever they can… menus, roadside signs, television guides, and playing instructions for games. This will encourage them to read without knowing that it’s reading time.
Employ the use of reading aids: There are a lot of products on the market, including computer and board games that you can use. There are also lots of ideas for home-made reading aids online.
Make trips to the library a regular event: Get your children into the habit of going to the library by making it a fun day out. Introduce them to the various programs that they may have available for children, depending on their ages.
Keep an eye on your children’s progress: Keep regular contact with your child’s teachers so you can have an idea of what they are being taught and how well they’re doing. Know when your children have tests and review their grades.
Be open to the possibility that your children may have reading problems: Keep an eye on your child’s ability to sound out words and relate pictures to words. There is no shame in having a child who has problems reading. They just need a little more encouragement.
Don’t delay. Get immediate help for reading problems: Ignoring a reading problem will not make it go away. If your child does have a reading problem then it is in their best interest to have it diagnosed early so that they can get the help they need.