As your child makes their way through pre-k, elementary school, middle school, and further, they’ll be faced with many educational challenges. Reading is a crucial skill that must be taught early on. If a child is falling behind in reading, then the teacher or school might have no other choice than to hold them back.
A below-level reading grade can also force summer school on your little one. When your child is having trouble with reading, it’s a frustrating time for everyone. It’s also a fragile time.
It’s time to encourage reading, not force it. If you push too hard, your child might begin to dislike reading altogether. Instead, continue reading below to learn how to encourage reading and build good reading habits for your little ones!
1. Design a Reading Section
A great way to encourage reading is to design a reading section in your house or in their room. Create a fun, exciting, magical, and comfortable place for them to immerse themselves in a good book. Lay down a cozy area rug and place a bookshelf nearby.
Fill the bookshelf with tons of interesting books. Think about all the different things your child enjoys. Do they like unicorns?
Are they interested in sharks or snakes? Put a variety of books on the bookshelf that you believe would interest them. Consider putting a bean bag, some pillows, or a small rocking chair in the reading section as well.
Let them explore it at their own pace. Try not to make it a big deal or they may feel like it’s schoolwork.
2. Let Them Choose Their Book
As much as you want your child to be reading a book on their grade level or higher, you don’t want to push this on them too much either. Provide plenty of books on their level and above, but provide them with books on lower levels as well.
If your child isn’t on their grade level yet for reading, then they’ll need more practice reading books that they can read. It’s also important to be happy with them reading anything, no matter what grade level it is.
If they want to read the infant book because they enjoy it, then don’t take this away from them. You can still show them other cool books on higher reading levels when they’re not reading that one.
3. Take Fun Trips to the Library
Trips to the library can be a magical experience. Bring your child along with you and let them pick out a few books to bring home. You can guide them to the section for their grade level and see if they find any they like.
Let them browse without too much interference, however. You want this time to be exciting and adventurous for them. Some public libraries also offer bookstores where they sell donated books for cheap.
Bring a few dollars with you and let them pick out books to add to their collection at home. It’s always more fun when you get to keep the book!
4. Incorporate Reading into Daily Life
Reading doesn’t only have to take place at school or in their reading area at home. Reading can take place anywhere and everywhere. Find different ways to incorporate reading into their daily lives without them even noticing.
For example, does your little one love helping you in the kitchen? Have them read you the recipe or read off the instructions to you. Have them help you find specific items in the grocery store, or find other ways to get them reading throughout the day.
5. Purchase Tablets and E-Readers
Some children love to be on their tablets and other electronic devices. If your child loves their electronics, then purchase a tablet or e-reader for them to use for reading purposes. There are e-books you can download on a tablet that might encourage your child to read.
Have a tablet specifically for reading that includes not only books but reading games as well! You’ll find books ranging from all grade levels and reading types from an emergent reader to an advanced reader.
6. Set a Good Example
Your child imitates you more often than you know. If you want your child to read, then you should set a good example for them. Find an interesting book for yourself and read on your downtime.
Place a bookshelf in your room with some of your favorite books. When they see a bookshelf in your room, they’ll be excited to have their own in their room. You’ll even be surprised at how interested they are in knowing what you’re reading.
If it’s something age-appropriate, then read it aloud to them.
7. Create a Rewards Program
Children love to be rewarded for good habits. Create a reading rewards program for them just like you would for other things such as doing chores or brushing teeth. The system you use is up to you.
You can create your own or find a rewards chart at local education stores. Rewards can be as simple as receiving a sticker or even placing a gold star on that day for reading.
8. Build a Vocabulary Wall
Vocabulary can be one of the reasons your child struggles with reading. If they’re unsure of certain vocabulary words, then they could be missing out on reading comprehension as they read.
Build a vocabulary wall in their room for them to use. Put up words and definitions for recently learned words. Leave blank spots for them to write new words on.
When they’re unsure of a word, they can write it down and then have you fill out the definition for it. They can then refer back to it when needed.
It’s Time to Encourage Reading
Reading is challenging for many children. With these tips in mind, you can start to encourage reading in a healthy way! Use the advice given here to help your child fall in love with reading.
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