I hope you enjoy today’s guest post by Rebekah Gienapp, who blogs about literacy and children’s books at Inspiring Kids, One Book at a Time.
It’s so exciting when a child reaches the stage where she’s beginning to read on her own. While your child’s teacher may be leading the process at school, there’s a lot you can do at home to deepen your child’s love of reading and strengthen her skills.
Lay Off The Pressure
Between your own excitement about what’s to come and the increasing pressure on children to perform in school at earlier levels, it can be easy to fall into pressuring your child (even if you don’t mean to.) Trust that your child will develop at his own pace. Reminding your child repeatedly to make time to read can easily feel like nagging to the child.
Set a Specific Time To Read Independently Each Day
Children crave routines (even if they won’t admit it!) If your child is resisting reading time, find out more about what’s going on. Are the books she has to read too easy or too hard? Are they not about subjects she is interested in? Is she lonely reading by herself? If she is, perhaps reading time can be in the kitchen near you while you prepare dinner.
Ask Your Child If He’d Like To Read To A Non-Judgmental Audience
Have you heard that many libraries now have programs where children with reading difficulties can come in weekly to read to a dog? Perhaps your child would enjoy reading aloud to a younger sibling, a pet, a doll, or a stuffed animal.
Resist Jumping In Too Quickly To Help
If your child is having difficulty sounding out a word, don’t jump in too quickly to do it for her. Encourage her to look closely at the beginning sound. If your child makes a mistake while reading a sentence, gently encourage her to try the word again.
Encourage Him to Re-Read Books
Your beginning reader is combining different strategies such as sounding out words and using sight words. It can take most of his energy to figure out what the words say, which could mean he’s not understanding as much of the story as he could. Re-reading a book allows him to go deeper into the story and its meaning, as well as increase his reading speed.
Thanks for the awesome tips, Rebekah!