If you are a new parent, teaching your child how to read is a significant milestone in the process of child development and joy that every parent wishes to experience. This article will cover how to help young kids to start reading and help them master comprehension skills at the right age.
It is a fact that reading activities are one of the most challenging things for young children to master. Experts say that the brain takes time to read/write while speaking and listening are a lot easier. While a few kids start to read at 3, others might even take 6 to 7 years to truly master comprehension skills! Having said that, undue pressure on a child to match your benchmarks could make both you and your kid anxious and ought to be avoided.
For young kids, reading is the first step in the process of self-learning and provides them with crucial benefits such as:
- Building Communication Skills
- Teaching them how to articulate their thoughts.
- Builds self-esteem.
- Provides a pathway for self-learning in the future.
Reading and Learning Is Complex
Children have many milestones that need to be achieved before they genuinely master reading. Also, just because your child starts to read and learn late doesn’t mean he/she suffers from a learning disability.
Looking to inculcate the habit of reading and learning in your kid, here is what you ought to do:
For Kids Aged Less Than 6
- Provide a rich learning environment for your kid. Inculcating the habit of reading to your loved ones can go a long way in ensuring that your child has the edge over his/her peers.
- Practise word games and other pedagogy techniques with your children. Many learning games are apt for children between the ages of 3-5. Companies such as LeapFrog provide games that can help with spellings, letters, word identification, and even identifying popular characters. There are also various apps in Android/iOS/Microsoft Store, which helps your kid identify objects that he/she views in the environment.
- The old-age habit of reading to your child a bed-time story before sleep would also go a long way in ensuring that your wards adopt the habit of reading literature. Many books can be read for kids between the ages of 3-5 before their sleep time.
- Milestones matter. By rewarding them with good reading behavior, you can go a long way in ensuring that your child achieves the objectives in a short time.
- Ask them to spell out unfamiliar words and make sure that they perfect the phonology. In addition to words, you can also make them pronounce different letters and sounds and ensure that they spell them correctly.
For Older Kids (greater than 6 and less than 10)
- Make sure that they write down words that sound complex with a pen or pencil. In addition to perfecting spellings, this can ensure that your kid hones your fine motor skills and masters the written language.
- Ask them to write fiction with characters, beginning and an end. It doesn’t matter if the writing is terrible; initially, the quality eventually increases with practice.
- Ask them to practice their reading loudly and ensure that they can read fluently and with minimal interruptions.
- Encourage them to read fiction, children’s books, and newspapers. Tell them it is perfectly ok to refer a dictionary when needed.
- Help them improve their comprehension skills by asking them to take notes and articulate what they have just read.
- One fun way of making sure that kids get a better grasp of the subject would also be to show them movies that are age-appropriate and are rich in content & messages.
Watch out for :
Children usually master reading during the 1st grade. But, they continue to encounter the following difficulties. It is essential to keep track of them and correct them later with the help of a mentor/teacher:
- Mistaking letters for different ones. For example, kids usually ignore “s” at the end of a few specific words.
- Pronunciation issues. A lot of kids struggle with pronouncing specific words.
- Wrong phonology.
- Missing specific words while reading. You will have to ensure that your kid doesn’t do any guesswork while reading. One common mistake that kids
- Speed issues. In some cases, the words might get misspelled due to the speed of the pronunciation. This is why you ought to teach them to master pronunciation before increasing the speed.
In addition to human mentors, here are a few books that we would recommend you purchase to help your child master reading faster:
Phonics Books You Can Purchase Online To Help Your Kid Hone His/Her Reading Skills
- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
- Grade K Phonics for Kindergarten: Gold Star Edition
- Phonics for Grade, Grade-1
Provide Moral Support While Your Kid Reads
You must make reading a fun and learning experience for the kid involved. Try to be patient and repeat the learnings if needed.
Also, remind your kid that it is perfectly fine to make mistakes while reading, but it is vital for them to take feedback from teachers and parents and correct their mistakes. Also, feel free to shower praise on your kid after he achieves milestones. Portray their literary works in prominent spots to show them that you care about their effort.
Encourage your kid to read books in his/her free time to increase their vocabulary. Gestures such as buying them a kindle subscription for their birthday show them that reading is a positive action that will be rewarded richly.
Here are also some ways that you could practice to make reading an activity that your kid will learn to cherish:
- Create a spot where your child could read undisturbed.
- Set an example to your kid by reading books and explaining their synopsis to your child.
- Keep a lot of physical books (both classics and children’s books) within reach of your child.
- Gift your child something after they finish reading a book. Positive reinforcement such as these goes a long way in ensuring that your child possesses a treasure of knowledge down the lane when they grow older.
- Introduce the concept of audiobooks to your children.
- Ask them questions and listen to their thoughts on the book that they just read.
- Help them master reading via apps and the use of technology.
At the end of the day, each child is unique and learns at his/her own speed. But, If you feel that your kid might have learning difficulties, take your kid to a pedagogy expert who might be able to help you alleviate your concerns and bring the best out of your child.