You are your children’s first and most influential teacher and you play an important role in helping them become more effective readers. Here are 5 easy ways you can help your children become great readers –
1. Set aside a regular daily reading time
To encourage a good reading habit in your children, it is important that you set aside 10 to 15 minutes every day to read out loud to your children. Seeing you read will inspire your children to read and studies have shown that reading out loud regularly to your children will have a great impact on their vocabulary, reading comprehension and their desire to read independently.
2. Surround your children with reading material
One of the easiest ways to get your children to read is to have a house filled with books and reading materials that your children would easily understand and place them within their reach. Plant book baskets in different rooms around the house as well as in your car so that they can easily grab one at any time and make sure the books are age appropriate and at their reading level.
3. Make reading fun for your children
Make reading time and reading fun for your children. Turn off the television, phones and other distractions then pick a good spot in the house for the reading. Give them a choice of books to pick from and also, engage them in some fun reading activities and games that will help them work on their reading skills while having fun. For younger kids, you can try flash cards and colourful picture books.
4. Praise their efforts
How you react to your children’s reading will have a huge influence on how much of a good reader they will become. Make sure you are relaxed when reading to your child and be sure to praise them for every effort they make.
5. Don’t pressurize them.
Every child will learn to read at a different pace, it is important that you do not compare your children to other children. Also, it is more advisable that you encourage them to read for a certain time frame (depending on their age) rather than asking them to read a certain number of pages or books. For example, ask them to read for 15 minutes rather than ask them to read 10 pages (or 10 books).
Getting your children to love reading will require a lot of patience and consistency. Continue to encourage them, praise them, support their efforts and believe in them. In the end, you will be happy you did.