When it comes to teaching children how to read, educators shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the entire burden. Every child learns at his or her own pace, and while some kids can soak up reading lessons like a sponge, others aren’t quite adaptable. Failure to build solid reading skills during one’s formative years can create substantial problems for them in many areas of life, so it behooves parents to work with teachers in developing children’s reading abilities. Unfortunately, many parents leave this task entirely in the hands of teachers, which often results in kids not getting the individual attention they require. Parents looking for effective ways to bolster their children’s reading abilities can benefit from the following pointers.
1. Daily Designated Reading Time
When developing reading skills, practice makes perfect. The more your child reads, the more comfortable he or she will be doing so. As such, parents should enact designated daily reading periods ranging from 20 minutes to one hour. Reading time can take place first thing in the morning, after your child gets home from school or right before bedtime – just make sure to be consistent. Additionally, to avoid making this seem like a chore or punishment, try to find reading material that’s of interest to your child. For example, leveled books work particularly well for small children.
2. Regular Trips to the Library
In addition to making reading time part of your child’s daily routine, take care to make regular trips to your local library or bookstore. This is a great way to expose your child to a vast array of reading material and show them how wonderful books can be. Allowing your kids to select their own books also gives them a sense of independence and ensures that what they’re reading is of interest to them. The more interested your child is in their reading material, the more likely they are to finish it.
3. A Reward System
Some kids require additional incentive to tackle their reading lessons in earnest. Unsurprisingly, many children associate reading with being at school and aren’t particularly amenable to doing it at home. If this describes your child, consider building a reward system around their reading lessons. For example, for every book they finish, they’ll receive a small reward. These rewards can include trips to their favorite restaurants, small trinkets and family outings. While it’s true that learning is its own reward, it should come as no surprise that small children generally don’t see things this way.
There’s no question that educators play an important role in teaching children how to read. However, it’s unfair of parents to expect them to do all the work. Most teachers oversee dozens of students and lack the bandwidth to provide kids with individual attention on a regular basis. With this in mind, parents need to step up to the plate and realize that they also have a vital role to play in this endeavor. Armed with the previously discussed tips, you can set your child on the path to reading proficiency in a timely manner.