Have a child who’s struggling with reading? Whether they hate reading or just can’t seem to get the hang of it, you’re probably desperate to find some effective tips on how to improve reading skills for kids.
Your child’s lack of reading skills might be discouraging for you at first. There will be days when you might feel like giving up. But with a little patience, and a lot of practice (the right kind of practice), you can help your child become a confident reader.
In the guide below, we’ll share some proven tactics you can use to help your child develop stronger reading skills.
1. Make Reading Fun
It’s important to make reading something fun instead of a chore your child dreads. Try to find books that your child is interested in and make reading time a bonding experience. You can also try turning everyday tasks into opportunities to read, like reading signs when you’re out and about or looking at pictures in magazines together.
Even better, use a reading app like Lou Adventures that turns reading into a fun, interactive game. Lou Adventures helps children improve their reading skills by using speech recognition technology in a fun and engaging adventure game hosted by their furry friend Lou.
Check out our Lou Adventures review for a full look at the app.
2. Build The Habit
Another important way to improve a child’s reading skills is by gradually building the habit. You can’t expect your child to start reading chapter after chapter immediately.
Take it slow and let your child know that this activity is not a burden. If you ask your child to spend long hours reading, he’d soon get overwhelmed.
Try reading a couple of pages during other activities. Ask your child to help in the kitchen by reading you the recipe. Punctuate bedtime with lighthearted stories. Small activities like these can help in the gradual inculcation of reading habits.
Set aside a chunk of your day where you and your child can read together. Adult supervision during reading works wonders. Not only can you help the child understand complex words, but you also bond better. It reassures the child and improves his focus.
On the other hand, reading isn’t very fruitful if your child is left unattended. Since children are easily distracted, your child might lose interest soon or just skim through the pages. Your primary goal should be to be present when he reads.
Once the kid is used to the routine, you can start leaving him for unattended periods. Eventually, you’d be able to withdraw entirely and have an avid reader at home!
3. Make Books Readily Accessible
One of the easiest ways to get children interested in reading is simply by making books readily accessible. If you want your child to love reading, it’s important that they’re constantly surrounded by books.
A home library goes a long way in promoting reading habits. You can also try taking your child to the local library or bookstore on a regular basis so they can pick out books they’re interested in.
If you want your child to engage in the realms crafted by Roald Dahl and others, make sure that the books are easily accessible. Get storage racks that align with the child’s height. This way, he won’t have to seek your help whenever he needs a book. It’ll also give him the freedom to choose.
Another way of increasing the availability of books is by not restricting them to one place. Have them lying around the house. It will encourage the child to read whenever he feels like it.
4. Celebrate Milestones
When a child’s trying out something new, the one thing he needs the most is reassurance. Make sure that you track his progress. Don’t forget to acknowledge small milestones. Give him words of appreciation every time he completes a chapter. It will boost the child’s morale and push him to do more.
Tracking the child’s pace is also important because it helps you identify lackings. If your child takes too long to complete a single page, chances are he’s facing difficulty in comprehension. Lack of focus and attention also play a part in slow reading development.
For best results, look into to-do lists and checklists. Set up small deadlines for your child to meet. Reward him in little ways whenever a task completes. It will also help keep track of how regularly the child reads.
5. Respect The Pace
Each child brings different things to the table. Your neighbor’s children might complete two books weekly, but that’s not a bar set for your child. Avoid comparing reading skills because it might result in discouragement.
Reading pace is different even in adults. Hence, burdening your child to finish more pages will only exhaust him. It can also significantly lower the amount of knowledge he retains.
When dealing with reading development, figures don’t play a part. Don’t value your child’s reading skills by the number of pages or books he finishes in a day. As long as he’s enjoying the activity, you can be sure of a fruitful outcome.
Ensure that the child knows that reading is for developing intelligence, not competing with other kids.
6. Help Choose Books
Children who have no exposure to reading often end up feeling overwhelmed. There are thousands of genres available, and choosing one can be intimidating for a child. Ensure you assist them initially so they can identify their likes and dislikes.
A simple way of doing this is by introducing the child to your favorites. Introduce him to the books which fascinated you as a child. Help him understand different genres. Introduce him to short stories from various niches. It will help the child in choosing books that he actually likes.
7. Create A Reading Corner
Designating a specific space for this activity can work splendidly in your favor. Reading corners help the child in focusing and also makes the activity more enjoyable.
You don’t have to go overboard with the architecture, though. Simply propping up fabric canopies or makeshift tents is enough to spark your child’s interest.
A reading corner can also help in improving imagination. You can accentuate the space with your child’s favorite things. While this may not do much to improve fluency and comprehension, it does push your child to read.
Putting things in order also becomes easy because you can keep all your child’s favorites in one place. Get your child involved in building the area and watch him spend hours reading in that space!
A Final Word on Improving Reading Skills for Kids
No matter where your child is at in his reading journey, these tips will surely help.
Just remember to be patient and never give up on your child. Reading is a fundamental life skill, and every child has the potential to excel in it.
With a little bit of guidance and encouragement, your kid can develop into a great reader in no time!
Remember, there’s a lot more that goes into building reading skills than just shoving a book in your child’s face. With an app like Lou Adventures, you can make the entire process fun, interactive, and engaging for your child! Download the app now and give your child a head start in reading!
Have any more questions about how to improve reading skills for kids? Let us know by commenting below.