The 6 Best Practices for Teaching Your Child to Read
Teaching your child to read is one of the most fulfilling and important gifts you can give your little one. But it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start and what to do, especially if you have received no formal training in teaching reading.
Which is why we are looking at the best practices for teaching reading today.
The practical tips below are considered almost essential for parents trying to teach their kids to read. They will make teaching more manageable and make sure you have a solid plan, not leaving you to just wing it.
Not having a plan is a terrible idea considering how vital the correct way of teaching reading is to your child’s future.
Advantages of Teaching Reading Correctly
Proper reading instruction builds a strong foundation in reading literacy. These are the first building blocks in your child’s formal education, so it is crucial they are correct.
This strong foundation is key to your child’s future academic success.
When a child can read well, they often benefit from much more extensive vocabulary and general knowledge. And their reading comprehension tends to be far greater than their peers. This makes for much easier learning in school, no matter the subject.
There has even been a study undertaken in the United Kingdom, which found a positive influence of mathematics and reading ability in 7-year-olds and their socioeconomic status by 42 years of age.
Ones reading ability and achievement in mathematics were also significantly attached to intelligence scores, academic motivation, and duration of education.
When a child learns to read proficiently, their spoken language also improves. They possess a much larger vocabulary as well as knowing more advanced words than other kids their age.
Resulting in them having more self-confidence as they are generally well-spoken and confident readers.
These are just some of the many advantages enjoyed by kids who have received the correct reading teaching. With that being said, let’s quickly go through some of the best practices for teaching reading to your kids at home.
Best Practices for Teaching Reading at Home
Invest in Book Volume and Visibility
One of the first things you should have is an abundance of diverse age-level books. As your child’s reading ability improves, there will soon come a time when their desire to read rises sharply.
Which is why it’s crucial to have a large variety of books for your child to read, rather than just the same one or two which will eventually bore your little one and risk putting them off reading for good. And try to make sure there are books in easy to access spots in all the rooms your child spends time in.
This ties in with the next tip.
Interesting Reading Material
Having many kid’s books available is essential. But even more importantly, you must invest in books on topics that interest your child. You know your child best. So you know if they’re into dinosaurs or fishing, ponies or princesses. If the books don’t interest your child, your child will lose interest in reading.
Introduce New Topics
We mentioned earlier how important it is for your children to read books on topics that interest them.
But that does not mean every book should.
Every now and then, let your child read a book on an unfamiliar topic.
For this to work, it’s vital that you spend a few minutes before the reading session discussing what the topic is about. This is a great way to expand your children’s knowledge and generate a bit of curiosity.
Phonics is considered the building blocks of reading.
Children who receive excellent phonics training gain a solid foundation in reading and almost always grow up to be proficient readers and spellers.
Phonics involves learning the sounds letters make and using that knowledge to decode words into their sounds.
Let Your Kids Choose
You’ve invested in 10, 20, maybe even over 30 books for your kids on topics that interest them.
Now don’t make the common mistake of deciding which book you will read.
Let your child decide. Yes, it is quite normal for a child to have a favorite book that they want to read over and over again.
So you might end up reading the same book multiple times, which might end up being boring for you. However, if it keeps your kids engaged, it’s worth it.
Whether you are reading to your children or they are reading to you, pause often to ask questions about the story.
Ask basic questions that require straightforward answers such as, “what color was the boy’s hat”?
And ask more in-depth questions such as, “why do you think the girl is happy”?
Asking questions will help to develop critical thinking, as well as to improve your child’s memory and comprehension.
Implementing these tips will make it easier for your child to learn to read, and it will make them better readers. This will positively affect their future academic success, vocabulary, self-confidence, and ability to communicate effectively with others.
Implementing practical tips to help teach your child to read is vital.
- Having a wide variety of age-appropriate books around your home.
- Making sure the books are on topics that your child is interested in.
- Introducing a new book on a new topic every now and then.
- Teaching your child phonics to build a strong reading foundation.
- Letting your child choose the book each reading session.
- Pausing often to ask your child questions about the book you are reading.
Applying these tips is easier than you think. And the time spent reading with your child are moments you will always cherish, and a gift they will never forget.