Parents often ask me “How can I help my child with their reading?” I would say the most important thing to do is to try and make reading a positive experience for your child and entire family. Encourage your child to develop a love for reading and books.
Here are just SOME tips on how you can help your child, and the family, build positive attitudes around reading.
Head to a book shop or library This is a MUST if you want your child to develop positive reading attitudes. Let them explore the books. Let them touch and feel the books. Even let them smell the books. Enjoying a book can be incredibly sensory. Talk about how the books are displayed and organised, and get ideas about how you can display them at your house. Immersing children in books can be so much fun.
Choose a book that appeals to the child. I’ve heard it again and again. “My child doesn’t like reading.” And you know what, maybe that’s true. But I bet your child will like it a little bit more, even tolerate it, if they are reading a story that really grabs them. Find something they like. Take the time to look around and research books. Help them find something that makes them excited to read. It might take a little while, but it will be worth it.
Experiment with text types. Some kids like fiction, some like non fiction. In actual fact, that’s true for all of us. So, mix it up. Head to the library and borrow a heap of different text types. A wider range of stories will not only make it easier to find text types your little reader likes, but it will also expose them to a bunch of new words. Also, don’t be afraid to expose your children to magazines, eBooks, brochures and newspapers. Trust me. The wider the range, the bigger the vocabulary your child may develop.
Be Present. Choose a time that suits you both. It’s so important that you find the right time to read. These days life is so busy. I believe that it’s more valuable to have focused and uninterrupted 10 minutes rather than 20 minutes of rushed or absent minded reading. Bedtime is a beautiful time to share a book in my household. But you might find that reading at the breakfast table works best. Think about your movements as a family and try out different times. It may take a few attempts, but soon enough you will have found your perfect time I’m sure.
Make it positive Have fun with it! If your child isn’t in the mood for reading then scrap it and start again another time. If the book is boring, find one that excites them. Simply put, enjoy this bonding time with your child. Make silly voices for the characters, sing and be ridiculous where the text allows it. If you show your child that you are having a good time reading with them, they’ll respond with joy and engagement for books.
I hope you can find at least one new and useful tip in this list. These are just some of the many ways you can engage your child in reading. I’ll be sharing more tips in future blog posts on a range of topics. If you have any specific ideas or requests, feel free to contact me via email.