Why don’t we teach our kids how to read?
Some people argue that teaching a child to read before entering school will give them an unnecessary advantage over those who don’t learn quickly. However, is it fair that children struggle with reading and writing for most of their academic careers simply because they happened to be born at the wrong time?
How can you prevent your child from falling behind in reading?
The answer is very simple: Teach your kids how to read! You can easily do this by following these steps:
Read together every single day.
Be sure to pick books appropriate for their age – but there’s no need to limit yourself; if you love poetry, why not share Anne Sexton with your son?
Build a home library.
The more books you stock up, the easier it will be for your kids to choose something they like and enjoy reading (there’s nothing worse than slogging through a book that isn’t interesting!). However, please note: too many children’s books can lead to ‘babyish’ behavior in older kids! Bookcases stocked to the brim with brightly colored picture books may seem like heaven when your child is three or four years old, but by nine or ten, such abundance could become an obstacle in their path towards literature. So don’t go overboard; keep only the most engaging books on display while keeping less-than-perfect titles out of sight.
Allow them to pick out their storybooks.
Contrary to popular belief, children love to read, and they’ll be more likely to pick up a book if it’s something they’ve chosen themselves. So don’t choose books for them – let them choose their adventure!
Encourage your child to take notes as you read together.
This is an easy way for kids (and later, adults!) to remember what they like and dislike about certain books; perhaps the main character was too cold-hearted, or the plot seemed fake? By recording their opinions in a notebook, your child will also begin learning how authors make their readers feel and form connections between characters and story elements. It might not seem like much now, but taking notes on literature can turn out to be very helpful when it comes to writing essays and summarizing complicated pieces of fiction later on in life.
Help your child complete simple exercises based on the story you read together.
For example, if you recently went through a Dr. Seuss book with your son or daughter, ask them to color the main characters’ favorite color (red for The Cat in the Hat, blue for Fox in Socks ) or cut out some letters (capital T’s) from cardboard paper; by doing this, they’ll be developing their fine motor skills as well as practicing literacy even before they enter school!
Don’t restrict reading time to bedtime.
Let them choose how to spend it instead! It might sound hard at first but making children responsible for their own time is a great way of helping them grow into independent, hard-working individuals who are not afraid to try new things.
Encourage your child to read aloud.
This will also help develop fine motor skills and auditory memory – very important qualities for being an excellent reader!
Allow your child to read comics and graphic novels.
Not only do these books have the potential to increase their interest in literature, but they can also motivate older kids who perhaps avoid reading or don’t see its value. After all, there’s nothing wrong with reading simple comic books at eight years old!
Put yourself in your kid’s shoes when choosing their reading material.
Sometimes parents are tempted to buy whatever book they happen to like (or grab the nearest book to them) for their kids; however, this might not be the best choice. No child wants to read about topics that are difficult or boring for them – if they don’t like a certain genre of books, there’s no point in forcing it on them!
Encourage your child to swap books with their friends and relatives.
This is a great way of expanding your kid’s reading list while also saving some money! You can also bring younger children into the mix by getting them involved in storytime sessions at local libraries where they’re sure to meet new readers just their age.
To teach your child how to read, you will need a lot of patience and consistency.