15 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read.
Learning to read is the foundation of success in school. Beyond good grades, developing sound reading skills will ensure your child has the confidence to set goals and the ability to achieve them in a world where literacy is an essential skill.
We need to make reading enjoyable for our children. If reading becomes a chore, it will seldom be an activity of choice when your child has free time. Make sure the books your child is reading are fun, interesting and challenging – but not so difficult that your child becomes disinterested.
To help, we have created a list of 15 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read.
1. Write notes for your child
Leave notes for your child throughout the house. You can leave messages in their lunch box, on their pillow, in the bathroom, in the cereal box – get creative! You can test for comprehension by leaving a trail of notes that will lead your child to an item you have planted. This is a fun way for you to test their abilities.
2. Introduce activities that involve reading
Highlight the importance of reading skills in everyday life by asking your child to cook from a recipe, read a map, read road signs out to you while driving or help to assemble a toy from instructions.
3. Read to your child every day
Make a routine reading time whereby your child can select a book and you read to them daily. You can involve your child in this activity by helping to guide their focus with a bookmark or your finger while they are still learning to read, and by pausing over words to encourage them to participate as their skills improve.
4. Ensure your child always has material to read while waiting
If you know you will be waiting for an appointment or spending time in the car, if your child has reading material at their disposal this can be a time for them to self-select reading as an activity.
5. Enrol your child in Read-a-Thons
Some schools will run charity Read-a-Thons. This can be a great opportunity for your child to receive praise and encouragement for their reading and the sponsorship and prizes provide an exciting motivator for your child to keep reading.
6. Introduce your child to series books
Finding a series that will interest your child can be a simple way to encourage their reading. They will be eager to discover new developments of the plot and characters and will look forward to the next books in the series.
7. Immerse your child in reading materials
Make sure reading materials surround your child at home. This doesn’t always have to be books, having a wide variety of reading materials in different areas of the house is ideal.
8. Let your child decorate a library bag and hold a library card
Involving your child in this way reinforces the idea of reading for fun and leisure and gives your child a sense of ownership over their reading choices.
9. When you read to your child, take turns
Allow your child to interject and take turns reading pages. This will allow you to check for comprehension and any reading difficulties your child may be experiencing. Be sure to keep this reading time as leisure time however so as to not discourage your child.
10. Visit the library for theme days
Involving your child in storytelling time or theme days is a fun way to encourage them to read and familiarise themselves with the library.
11. Play word games with your child
Ask your child to make sentences from acronyms you see on the street. Play word association games or ‘eye spy’ in the car.
12. Keep clippings of newspaper articles for your child
Material you think will interest your child can be kept in a scrapbook. Encourage your child to read a few articles each day and as their confidence improves, ask them to keep a scrapbook for you to read.
13. Reward your child with a special bookmark when they finish a book
Praise and rewards go a long way in encouraging your child to read and improve their literacy skills. Your enthusiasm and interest in their reading is important.
14. Encourage your child to write
Improving your child’s writing skills will in turn help their reading. Discuss the books your child is reading to check for comprehension and inspire their imagination. Ask your child to leave you notes or write an alternative ending to their favourite book.
15. Use a fun computer program to develop your child’s reading skills
Our Dynamic Reader program improves a child’s comprehension, reading fluency, eye tracking and reading speed with a series of fun games that improve visual motor skills and reading ability.
Most importantly, ensure your child is not experiencing any reading difficulties. Read with your child regularly to test their reading skills. If your child skips words or lines, confuses words, reads words backwards, lacks fluency, experiences sore or tired eyes, lacks comprehension or displays any of the symptoms listed in our 10 Second Test, ensure they receive a comprehensive vision therapy evaluation. The sooner your child’s reading problem is identified, the quicker it can be treated.