One of the first and biggest challenges a child will face in their academic career is learning how to read and mastering it. Reading skills are essential for success throughout a child’s academic career and life in general. This makes the journey through reading and comprehension vital. If your child is struggling to read, doesn’t like to read, is just not as proficient as you’d like him or her to be, or needs extra support before taking their reading EOGs, then you’re probably eager to do what you can to help.
While we encourage seeking help from a reading tutor or a reading program, we know that in addition to or in lieu of, you can help at home too. We offer our top 7 tips for helping your child improve their elementary level reading skills.
7 Tips for Improving Reading Skills at Home
Make it fun. Not just books and not just chosen by you. Let your child choose magazines, read menus, signs, and books about their own favorite topics. If they can choose, they can fall in love with reading more easily. If you can make it fun during everyday activities like reading signs while riding in the car or the menu at a restaurant, your child can get some reading practice on the fly!
Reinforce reading strategies. When your child is reading and they are stuck on a word, remind them of their strategies. Sound it out. Look for picture clues. Look for chunks. Use context clues. Reread, etc. They are learning a specific set of strategies at school and should be reminded of them when reading at home.
Praise successes big and small. Praise specifically their hard work and perseverance, not their intelligence as they can internalize those comments as not being smart if they are struggling. Instead, praise their ability to utilize taught strategies to work through their reading and comprehension.
Grow Confidence. Don’t interrupt, hurry up, or slow down a reader. Let them read with all of their mistakes and do not stop them. Ask them before they read it again if they had any unknown words, things they didn’t know how to pronounce or know the meaning of. Help them with the answer and then have them read it again. The reading will come with time. The confidence will help them get there.
Use their favorite technology. Whether it is an iPad, smartphone, or the computer, there is a great deal of fantastic websites and apps that can help a child improve their reading and comprehension skills in a fun format. There may even be one featuring their favorite characters.
Attack one word or sound at a time. Eventually, your reader will learn all words, but, when there is a specific word they often stumble over or a set of words with the same sound, attack it! By focusing on one at a time, you can help your reader climb that hurdle before tackling the next.
Read. Read to each other. And read some more. Having access to a variety of reading materials in the house encourages good reading habits and skills. Demonstrating this habit as an adult can encourage your student to choose to read. And by reading to him or her and having them read to you, you can enjoy the time together and grow your student’s confidence in reading out loud.
If reading tutoring is a path you want to explore, please give us a call at Lake Norman Tutoring. 704-845-0561 – We offer great rates and have fantastic reading tutors with availability now