As a parent you are well aware that reading is one of the core foundations to a child’s learning. Reading is the gateway to exploring the world.
Naturally, reading is also a way to spend time, and can be great entertainment, as well as being crucial to learning about anything that interests you. The importance of reading stretches to all areas of life.
A child’s success is much more likely when one of their parents becomes involved in their education.
What is the best way for a parent to help a child who has reading problems?
Each child has their own strengths, and while reading comes naturally to some children, for others, it is something that takes more time and effort since they have other strong points.
Here are a few ideas that will help your child to not only grasp the skill of reading more easily, but to actually love it – which of course is half the battle!
Read To Your Struggling Reader
Having a parent read to them is the most powerful method of encouraging a love of reading in a child. Some of the most striking and enduring memories for children are those of reading with a parent.
Developing the habit of reading before bedtime, or making the time for reading a book or two at various times during the day will have a powerful effect on your child.
Let Your Child “Catch” You Reading
Children are natural imitators, and have an automatic compulsion to do what they see their parents doing. Sit and read where your children can see you, instead of going to your bedroom. Demonstrate your love of learning and reading, and your children will automatically copy you.
Keep Good Books On View
Whether it’s horses, a particular sport, or dinosaurs, buy several books on that topic, that look interesting and enticing, and leave them on the coffee table, or counter tops.
Then buy several interesting books about the subject and leave them lying around on coffee tables and counter-tops.
Making good, interesting reading material available will encourage your child to pick up a book and start reading it of their own free will, and out of interest and enjoyment rather than duty.
The Balance Between Easy and Hard
It is important to help your child to choose books that are appropriate for their reading level. Books that are too hard will frustrate and eventually discourage them. On the other hand, books that are too easy can put off a child who find it too “babyish” or uninspiring. The key is to aim for between the two.
Reading What’s Around You, Out Loud
When driving with your child, read signs out loud as you go.
While walking through the mall, point out the names of the stores, and phonetically sound them out with your child.
Take advantage of the fact that words are everywhere. It’s a fund way to reinforce the importance of reading, and to give your child plenty of practice.
The Value of Patience And Encouragement
Although it can be very tempting, resist the urge to jump in and correct your child each time they make a mistake while reading. The frustration your child will feel from this can do more damage than good.
Make a decision to be patient, and to help them to sound the word out on their own. It’s vital to not show any impatience when a child is struggling.
Encourage your child to not give up, and make patience your priority. Only give the child hints when it is necessary.
Turn It Into A Game
Make use of the variety of fun games that help to develop reading and spelling without being obvious. Boggle, Scrabble and Upwords are a few examples of games that make learning so much fun that your child won’t realize he is learning.
Reading is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your child, and the younger a child learns to read, the better. The journey from struggling reader to “book worm” can be easy and fast, with plenty of encouragement, patience, and modelling your own love of reading.