How To Help Your Child Become A Great Reader!

Helping Your Child Become a Good Reader
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Grabbing a few minutes in the kitchen while cooking supper, eating pudding or having a snack works for us. Finding new opportunities for your child to read, or for you to read to your child, is one way of encouraging your child to become a good reader. The more children read, the better they read. It is as simple as that. There are other ways you can help your child become a good reader also, such as suggesting books for her to read, letting her take responsibility for her reading, motivating her to read, encouraging deeper reading and continuing to read aloud.

More on these below. Even after children can read independently parents still need to be involved in encouraging them to read. In fact, parents may need to be even more involved than before as children get older and spend more time on-line or talking or texting on cell phones rather than reading.

How can I help my child learn to read?

Teachers may have access to good websites and other materials that will help you encourage your children to read. Time for a Do-Over! Post tantrum, during lunch, after school, while you have your coffee on Sunday, any time can be cozy time. Log in Register. All parents want their children to realise their potential at school. Marie Rippel says:. As kids get older, they can take over the role of reader, or the book can be passed around the circle.

Parents can have a significant impact in reversing this trend and helping their child to be a good reader. Why not try some of the suggestions below?

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For us it was books in the kitchen, for you it may be books in the bathroom or the living room. Or all three. Make sure books are handy wherever you are so that whenever your child has a spare moment you can encourage her to grab a book and start reading.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

Don't forget to tuck one in her bag too for that inevitable wait in the doctor's waiting room. Build reading times into your routines every day, and not just at bedtime. When your child is reading independently instigate a family reading time when you all sit down quietly together for 20 or 30 minutes and read. Even if your child isn't keen, insist on it. As Jim Trelease says in the highly recommended The Read-Aloud Handbook, you require your children to brush their teeth and clean their room, so don't be afraid of requiring them to read. Create a private spot for your child to read in the corner of a room, under the stairs or on a comfy chair in her bedroom.

If you find books your child might like to read you could put them here ready to be browsed through when your child is in the mood. Let your child read late in bed occasionally or use a flashlight under the covers. One of the main reasons children don't read more is because they cannot find books they like to read.

Help your child find books she loves and you are on your way to helping her to become a good reader.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

You know your child well. You know her interests.

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You know what will capture her imagination. You know the type of characters she will identify with. Use this knowledge to find books you think your child will enjoy reading. Look at the children's book lists on this site or check out other recommended children's books on-line. First choose a few books yourself which you think would interest your child and then read the reviews of these shortlisted books together with your child before deciding on her final choice.

Don't forget to visit the library often too where a librarian should always be ready with suggestions. Have a look at these books also if your child is a reluctant reader. Make sure you choose books which are appropriate in terms of your child's maturity and reading level. If a book is too difficult your child probably just won't "get it". Ask your child to choose a page in the middle of the book with a lot of text and read the page silently, counting on her fingers the number of words she comes across which she doesn't know and cannot guess.

If she finds 3 to 5 words on the page the book will be a challenge.

Does Your Child Fit Into One of These Categories?

She can read it if she is motivated. Try to suggest a variety of reading materials: novels, picture books, newspapers, magazines, comics. Anything goes! If a movie has just come out of a children's book, suggest she reads that book before going to see the movie. Although you should enthusiastically make suggestions to your child of books she might enjoy reading, the ultimate choice of what to read should rest with your child.

If she is to become a good reader she must control her own reading.

According to research, one of the most critical motivators to get children reading is the power of choice. In one study, nine out of ten children said that they were more likely to finish a book they chose themselves. Respect your child's taste even if you don't agree with it as long as it is age appropriate literature. If she chooses to read magazines or comics, let her. As long as she is reading, she is becoming a better reader.

If she wants to stop reading a book because she is not enjoying it, let her.


This doesn't mean you can't subtly or not so subtly continue to make suggestions about other books she might like to read next. There is a good example from Donalyn Miller in The Book Whisperer of an active, sporty boy in her class who professed to hating reading, but insisted on reading a book more appropriate to dreamy, fantasy-loving girls, since it was suggested by a girl he liked.

As the boy struggled with the book for almost a month Donalyn begged him to abandon it, but he refused. So she began to ply him with stacks of books about boys having adventures which he might enjoy more, and talked to him about these books.

Reading at home | Services to Schools

Eventually he made the choice himself to abandon the 'girlie' book and choose another more aligned with his interests. Importantly it was him who had made this decision, it was not imposed on him by his teacher. He ended up becoming a good reader, devouring book after book by his favourite author. Start by being a good role model. If your child sees you reading she is more likely to pick up a book herself. If you read something interesting, share it, so your child continually sees the value of reading. Encourage your child to become a good reader by setting up a reading log in which your child can record all the books she has read, together with a short review and a rating for the book.

At this vulnerable stage, it is well worth the extra time to track down books he can read and will find exciting. Picture books with lots of words work well, since he can use the pictures to help him stay interested and figure out the words. Soon, through his work in school, as well as the books he picks up at home, his reading skills will catch up with his appetite for books. Within a few months, he'll be able to handle simple chapter books.

At that point, look for series books, which often lure kids on to the next book and the next. This can be a perfect chill-out time after school, or after lunch in the summer, or a wind-down time at the end of the evening. We negotiated a half hour later bedtime that our first graders were ready for anyway, as long as it was spent in bed reading a book. Some six year olds are just so tired by the end of the day, however, that reading is simply too much work for them then.


Until your child is ready for bedtime reading, try setting up his cozy reading time while you make dinner, after homework is done. Read together until you have to answer the phone or start dinner, but a minimum of a quarter of the book, so your child is hooked. Then tell her it's time for her read-alone time.

Does she want to keep reading the book you've just gotten her into, or read something else? Most kids grab the book and finish it themselves. If she doesn't, you may need to drop back a level to a slightly simpler book. Keep choosing engrossing, slightly harder books. But if he stumbles, supply the word. Don't make him stop and sound things out; your goal is to keep him excited about the book by moving forward with the story.

I recommend this only for limited periods of time — it tires kids out -- and I recommend that you not be rigid about enforcing your child's participation in other words, have them do every third page, or fourth.

If you take the fun out of reading with him, you've done more harm than good. Some kids get a terrific jump start from comics, which are less intimidating to them than chapter books. I know she can read anything herself now. But why give up such an important time to connect with each other emotionally?