Reading is a crucial skill for children to develop, but it can also be a challenging one. Some kids may struggle with reading comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, or motivation. As a parent, you want to help your child become a confident and enthusiastic reader, but you may not know where to start. Here are some steps you can follow to support your child’s reading journey and make it more enjoyable and rewarding for both of you.
Step 1: Find out your child’s reading level
Before you can help your child improve their reading skills, you need to know what level they are at and what areas they need to work on. You can use online tools, such as Lexile or Accelerated Reader, to measure your child’s reading level and get recommendations for books that match their interests and abilities. You can also ask your child’s teacher for feedback and guidance on how to help your child at home.
Step 2: Choose books that are appropriate and appealing
Once you know your child’s reading level, you can look for books that are suitable for their age and skill level, but also engaging and fun for them. You can browse online book lists, visit your local library or bookstore, or ask your child what they like to read. Try to expose your child to a variety of genres, topics, and formats, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, magazines, etc. The more your child enjoys what they read, the more likely they are to read more often and improve their skills.
Step 3: Read with your child every day
Reading aloud with your child is one of the best ways to help them develop their reading skills and foster a love of reading. You can read together for at least 15 minutes every day, either before bedtime or at any other convenient time. You can take turns reading pages or paragraphs, or you can read the same book at the same time and discuss it as you go along. You can also use different voices, expressions, and gestures to make the reading more lively and interactive.
Step 4: Ask questions and talk about the books
Reading is not just about decoding words, but also about understanding the meaning and the message behind them. To help your child improve their reading comprehension, you can ask them questions before, during, and after reading. For example, you can ask them to predict what will happen next, explain why a character did something, summarize the main idea of a chapter, or relate the story to their own experiences. You can also share your own thoughts and opinions about the books and encourage your child to do the same.
Step 5: Praise your child’s efforts and achievements
Reading can be hard work for some kids, and they may get frustrated or discouraged if they encounter difficulties or make mistakes. As a parent, you can help your child overcome these challenges by providing positive feedback and encouragement. You can praise your child for trying their best, for making progress, for learning new words or concepts, or for finishing a book. You can also reward your child with stickers, certificates, or other incentives for reaching their reading goals.