Leading child development authorities often report that much of a child’s early reading success depends on the level of support given at home. Children who are given the opportunities and tools for learning to read both at home and at school have a better chance of success. The following are ten tips that can help parents know when they are on track helping their children prepare for reading success.
Tip #1: Read with and to Children Regularly
Reading at home with children is one of the best ways to ensure that they are ready for reading. It also sends the message that reading activities are fun and enjoyable. Parents should read with their children at least five times a week.
Tip #2: Let Children Explore Books Alone
Many parents often make the mistake of strictly controlling the reading opportunities that their children have. They may let their child select the book, but then completely take over from there. All children should be given the time to explore a book before and/or after they read it with a parent or other adult. When the child reaches the point where he or she can read alone, it’s still a good idea to not rush into reading, but to encourage exploration first.
Tip #3: Show Confidence in the Child’s Abilities
Children need to believe that they can do something. And, if a child becomes discouraged, it is often a parent’s expressed belief in his or her abilities that helps the child over a rough patch. Displaying a lack of confidence can make the child question his or her abilities.
Tip #4: Avoid Expressing Worry About the Child’s Progress
Parents who are worried about a child’s reading progress should avoid discussing this with the child. Discussing concerns with the child’s teacher or other homeschooling educator is a far better option than risking compounding any reading problems the child is having by bringing them to his or her attention.
Tip #5: Encourage Children to Read to Others
Parents are built-in audiences for young readers. Parents should encourage their children to read to them often. Older siblings and cousins, neighbors, aunts and uncles, and grandparents are also great audiences.
Tip #6: Have Realistic Expectations
Parents have been reading for so long that they have understandably forgotten how long it took them to learn to read. Children learn to read at different paces and they begin to learn to read at different ages. Parents need to be sure to accommodate different learning styles to avoid rushing a child into reading or expecting too much from a struggling reader.
Tip #7: Avoid Rushing a Reading Session
Children should not feel rushed during a reading session. And, parents should avoid feeling conflicted between spending time reading with children and getting something else done. Schedule time for reading when nothing else will interfere.
Tip #8: Provide Reading and Writing Opportunities
Encourage children to read and write by putting them in charge of the shopping list and sharing letters from friends and relatives. Parents can also help teach children to learn to write by helping them write their own name on letters to friends and relatives. Opportunities for reading and writing development can be found in simple, everyday activities.
Tip #9: Provide Appropriate Reading Materials
Parents should make sure that their young readers have a wealth of age-appropriate reading material. Be sure to stock the home with books that interest the child. Take the child to the library that has a good children’s program as well. Encourage children to choose their own books from the library and to participate in the library’s story time.
Tip #10: Nip Problems in the Bud
A child who is having trouble reading might have issues that need attention. A child that has trouble might have a learning disorder, hearing problems, or poor vision. Parents should be vigilant enough to address problems as early as possible but not be so concerned that they help create problems where none exist.
Michael Levy has published more than 250 articles and books on learning and memory. Recently, he developed Reading Buddy 2.0 to teach children to learn to read English using a remarkably easy and effective syllabics method. Would you like a free copy of this innovative computer program to teach your child to read using this modern method? Claim your free copy of Reading Buddy 2.0.
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