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Five Tips to Help Your Child Learn to Read

Published February 21, 2020 in Parenting - 0 Comments
Five things that parents can do to help children learn to read

Five things that parents can do to help children learn to readOf course you want your child to learn to read. Reading is essential to life.  Children read textbooks at school and adults read training material at work. Even when we are not in an educational environment, we need reading for basic things like traffic signs and restaurant menus.

But reading isn’t just for navigating through work, school, and the freeway. It opens up new worlds. Books transport us to unknown lands and introduce us to marvelous new people.

How can you help your child begin the adventure of reading? Below are my five tips for helping your child learn to read. I’ll start with number five.

5. Take Your Child to the Library

Every city and almost every small town has a library. They loan out books for FREE. Take advantage. Make a weekly trip to the library part of your child’s routine. As soon as they are old enough, allow them to help with selection of the books. Children are more interested in things they get to choose.

My local library also has a weekly story time. Librarians engage the children with story reading, interactive songs, and crafts. Babies begin to learn how to listen to reading and older kids learn how to answer questions about the story. Don’t miss this great, free benefit.

4. Ask Questions When You Read a Story

Help your child participate in the story by asking them questions that they can answer. When they are very young, ask them the names of the animals in the pictures. As their learning progresses, quiz them about colors and shapes.  Older children can answer questions about the plot by telling you what they think will happen next. Allow kids to feel a part of the storytelling by showing off what they know.

3. Leave Books in Your Child’s Room

Make books available to your child no matter where he is. Keep a bookshelf in the family room for an impromptu story time. Scatter a few books along the coffee table and end tables, but especially make sure that your child has access to books in his own room. On his own, he can scan the book of his choosing. He will reinforce his learning when he flips through a book that you’ve read to him. Don’t forget to let him help select the books you buy.

2. Model Being a Reader

Kids learn by watching what you do. If they see you learning how to plant vegetables by reading books on gardening, they will know that books can help them learn too. Even seeing you read the latest, best selling novel communicates that reading is fun. If you are spending your free time on your phone and telling your kid to read, he probably won’t get the message.

Most Important!

1. Read to Your Child

Sitting in your lap, physically close to you, sharing a story together is a great bonding experience. It is also a great way to help your child learn to read. Watching you, the child learns how the book turns and that in English we read left to right. Listening to you, he hears the way words are pronounced and the cadence of the story.

Children benefit from a parent reading to them even after they learn to read. They can listen to stories on a higher level than they can read. My friend who taught elementary school for 30 years said the single most important thing a parent can do to help a child learn to read is to read to the child.

For more in-depth ideas on how to help children learn to read see: Teach Kids to Read at Home

For another of Nikki’s Top Five articles see: Top 5 Things to Remember When Potty Training

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