When raising a child, there's a lot to think about. Beyond providing basic needs for your children, you're also expected to teach them how to be a good human, keep them in line with appropriate behavior, and educate them on the subjects they might be having trouble with in school. Parenting is no easy feat, and it can be overwhelming. Which is why you may need a few tips for how to keep your child at their best when it comes to the fundamentals, including reading. If you're not sure how to help your child read at home, you're in the right place.
Whether or not you love to read yourself, there are things you can do every day to help encourage your child to read at home, and to improve their literacy skills. From leading by example and picking up a book to read on your own, to reading a book out loud to your child, there are plenty of different routes you can take when it comes to helping your child read more at home. Because even though reading's a required skill at school, there's no reason it can't be an enjoyable hobby for you and your family to bond over too.
1. Lead By Example
According to The Star, the more your child sees you reading, the more eager they'll be to join in. So rather than flipping on the television the moment you get home from work, why not crack open that book you've been meaning to finish instead? Not only will you get a lot more reading done, you'll be setting a great example for all of your kids that reading is a pastime to be cherished, not dreaded.
2. Start Them Young
Start your child's love affair with books at an early age. Children who are raised on books are more likely to love reading as they grow up, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Reading to your children when they're babies will get you in the good habit of integrating reading into their every day, and will get them started on the right literary foot.
3. Read Out Loud
Not only should you read out loud to your child, but your child should read out loud to you. According to Reach Out and Read, reading out loud is the single most important activity leading to language development. By listening to your child read to you aloud, you'll be able to see (and hear) what your child is having the most trouble with. And according to Reading Rockets, repeated oral reading makes students better readers, even when it's integrated at home.
4. Have Your Child Tell You A Story
Reading Rockets went on to suggest that having your child recount an experience or make up a story for you is a great way to expand your child's literacy rate. The site recommended writing down the story as your child tells it to you, and then reading it out loud together to strengthen vocabulary and cohesive story telling abilities.
5. Encourage Writing
Along with storytelling, having your children practice their writing skills is anything but detrimental to their literacy abilities. According to K12 Reader, writing and reading are skills that are almost always entwined. The more your child reads, the better writer they'll become. And the more your child writes, the better reader they'll be.
6. Ask Them Questions
According to Reading Rockets, asking your child questions about the stories they're reading will help them not only retain information, but improve their reading comprehension skills. Have your child retell what happened in the passage to you, or explain what the reading was about. Because reading is not just putting letters together, it's understanding the text as a whole.
7. Establish A Family Reading Time
By establishing a family reading time when everyone reads their own book, you'll demonstrate how important reading is, according to Scholastic. Take time after reading time to discuss what you've read, and create meaningful conversation around everyone's individual reading.
8. Make Reading Fun
For me, reading is fun. It's a luxury. But some children don't see it this way. "Provide them play opportunities that support different kinds of learning styles," Scholastic recommended. Ask your child's teacher for resources that create games based around reading, and then implement them in your home. Whether that's card games, word games, or storytelling activities, by associating fun with reading, your child will be more apt to have a desire to read on their own.
9. Celebrate Reading Achievements
Whether it's finishing a book report, finishing a book, or completing a series, offer positive reinforcements that inspire your children to keep reading, learning, and challenging themselves. According to Scholastic, by celebrating literary achievements, you can help your child see the value of reading, and motivate them to read more.