Reading is probably the most important skill that parents and schools can teach children. Reading is something that is needed to successfully function in this world. Parents who are serious about making sure their children get a good education in life can start this process by doing a lot of things at home that will support the development of reading. Research has said over and over again that parent involvement is the key to children’s academic success, and reading skills are an indicator of that success. This article will provide some strategies for parents to assist their children with becoming excellent readers.
Parents can begin the reading process as earliest as when the child is still in the womb, by reading to them as much as possible. Research has said that this will enhances language recognition skills. Also, parents can play music to help stimulate children while still in the womb. A parent should continue reading to the children after their birth. The goal for all parents should be to raise children who can read at or above whatever grade level the child is in throughout their education career.
Parents can also develop reading readiness skills for young children while they are still at home. This can begin as earlier as two or three years old. One reading readiness skill for young children is to help them to recognize pictures and different items. Children should be told what every item is in the house as well as identifying pictures in the house or magazines. The quicker they can recognize items and pictures the sooner they can begin reading drills. Another very important reading readiness skill is to teach children their ABC’s. Teaching children to memorize their ABC’s is helpful, but also make sure children are familiar with writing their ABC’s on paper. This will help them to read earlier and have a better understanding of words. Another good strategy to learning their ABC’s and leaning beginning words is to have the ABC’s placed on the bedroom wall of the child, and/or have small words placed on the bedroom wall. Children will go to sleep seeing letters and words every night, what a powerful way to get children started in reading.
Children are people and parents should treat them as such by talking to them a lot and allowing them to talk and respond as best they can. This will help children develop a vocabulary that will contribute to their reading skills. The brain also gets stimulated by the sound so the more talk the more stimulation. Parents can never talk too much to their children. The key is to allow the child to also talk and respond. Allow children to express themselves and parents will see development in their children.
In addition to reading readiness skills, children should have stories read to them. Children love stories and allowing them to talk about those stories will eventually develop fluency with language. Parents should find a story their child considers a favor and read the story over and over again to them. After a while allow the child to read along with the parent. Before long the child will be able to read the entire story and the reading journey will begin. Some of these techniques are simple but effective, and I have seen them work with my son.
Once the child has started to read the parent is ready to take reading to the next level. Parents should start purchasing books that are interesting to their children(children should be part of this process), and purchases a book shelve to be placed in the bedroom. Another strategy is for parents to purchase a book and have their child’s name inscribed on the inside. This is a good technique to give children ownership in reading by having their book with their name inscribed in it. Children will see the importance of reading by the actions of their parents.
The bedroom should become one of the rooms in the house that is conducive to reading for the child. Parents should make sure the bedroom has plenty of reading material for children. Parents should also begin to have an incentive for reading. Some parents allow their children to stay up a little later if they read. This is a good way to develop the love of reading for children.
Once the child has started to read and the family is involved, the reading excitement will increase. Family reading games or family reading nights can be used to keep the excitement going. The key is to keep this time fun and have the family involved. This is a time you can allow children to read whatever they choose including comic books, cartoons, and whatever is the child’s interests. Whatever reading material is utilized the parent should always have children verbally explain what happens in the story they read. This is a good way to develop children’s comprehensive skills, which are just as important as reading.
Another strategy could be utilized when traveling in a car on a trip. Children can read signs up and down the highway. If parents have more than one child the sign reading can become a game and the one who reads the sign first wins. The key is to keep children reading and keeping it fun. Also, parents can purchase audiobooks to have children listen to books while riding in the car. The practice of reading away from the home can be accomplished anywhere including in the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, or the grocery store. Parents should continuously find ways to test and help their children reading skills.
Parents should also be made aware that to develop good reading skills children need to also develop a wide vocabulary. This will go hand in hand with becoming an excellent reader. If children don’t have a homework assignment or parents want to give them additional homework the stores are full of workbooks that have vocabulary drills for all age groups. I recommend parents purchase workbooks at the child’s grade level and one grade above. The workbooks can be used whenever parents feel the need and/or in the summer when children have a lot of extra time. Or parents can find their own set of vocabulary words to give to their child each week. When working on vocabulary parents should make sure children can spell the word, pronounce the word, and put the word in a complete sentence.
If the child attends a school that gives a lot of homework, parents should make sure their child is doing the homework properly and not give any additional homework at this time. Parents should always be supportive of the school and make sure the child is keeping up with all assignments. In those situations, the summer months may be a more appropriate time to give children additional work assignments. Parents should realize that education is a 24-hour assignment and the summer can be used for additional reinforcement of academic skills, as long as they don’t overdo it.
As children grow older, they tend to want to do what adults do. This is a time parents can accommodate children. Parents have subscriptions to various magazines, so why not find a magazine that the child would be interested in and put a subscription in their name. The whole idea is to encourage children to read more. What better way than to have a magazine with the child listed as the subscriber? Once the parent gets the child motivated to read he/her reading skills will take off.
Having children sign up for a library card is a must for all children. Also taking children to the library on a regular schedule is important. Parents should allow children to take out several books each time they visit and make sure they read them before returning them. A short technique to help children better understands the book is to have them write a one-page paper about the book. This can be very difficult but very effective with reading comprehension.
Once the child becomes a good reader have them read books one grade above their grade level. Make sure the parent is giving the children positive encouragement through this process. Children need encouragement and it can build their confidence.
Another technique is to take children to the book store and purchase several books for them to read. Allow them to choose whatever books that interest them. Make sure they read the books and when they ask to go somewhere take them back to the bookstore and purchase some more books for them to read. Continue this process and the children will have plenty of books on their book shelve. Children love to travel so going to the bookstore will become one of their favorite requests.
To make sure children have a good role model parents need to read as much as possible in front of their children to demonstrate the importance. Reading the paper every day during quiet time could be an excellent time to demonstrate the importance. Also, playing games with children that require some reading or vocabulary is another excellent way to help with increasing children reading skills. The bottom line is the more the child reads the better reader he/she will become.
The following list is additional strategies to help children to become excellent readers:
Parents can purchase vocabulary cards for children
Books and magazines should be visible in the home
Reading books should be placed in the child’s book pack
Children can read books and complete a book report for parents
Parents should allow quiet time each day for the family to read
Children can read out loud for a better understandingChildren should sign up for the spelling bee
Children should sign up to be in plays in school or church
Older children can practice reading to younger children
Parents can assign a certain number of books to read each month
Children should read bible stories
Children should attend Sunday school and read out loud when appropriate
Allow children to read the newspaper
Talk to child’s teacher at school concerning reading skills
Ask children to summarize in writing what was read
Ask children to verbally tell what they read Provide lots of fun reading such as poems, jokes, comics, etc:
Children should keep a written journal
Two children can do an exercise of writing to each other
Children should write letters to someone they know
Children should attend museums, zoo and write about itReread material if the child doesn’t understand it
Ask children to identify the characters in the story
Ask children to write a one page paper about a book they have read
Purchase reading games that can be utilized on the computer
Parents who get their children interested in reading will open up a whole new world for them and it can be very exciting. Children who like to read generally do well in school and have no problem fitting into society. Reading is involved in everything we do and parents should be willing to do everything possible to make sure their children are capable of succeeding in this world.