Reading is a skill that is so important, not just at school, but in your everyday life. You gain knowledge from reading and the joy of reading a good book cannot be underestimated as it transports you into another world. I realise that most parents have little time for a good book when their children are young, but your reading time will return as the children grow. In the meantime, devour the amazing books written for children and teenagers and make that a part of your daily routine. Your children will benefit from your passion by improving their reading.
How do you help your children read?
Most importantly, try to make reading a part of your day…just make sure it is an enjoyable part. Here are some tips to fit reading into your daily routine.
1. Reading opportunities don’t always require books. Read cards at the newsagent; signs in the street; labels in the shops; jokes, limericks, comics and poems. Read maps and follow them as you walk to the park or a friend’s house…reading Google maps on your smart phone teaches them mathematics as well.
2. Read to your child at bedtime or allow 15-30 minutes of reading in bed before lights out (more for teenagers) – do both if you have the time.
3. Label things around the home such as the toilet, refrigerator, toy box, craft, kitchen cupboards, etc. Read rhyming books and play rhyming games, e.g. I see a cat, what rhymes with that?
4. Play “I Spy”. I see something beginning with the sound m, s, t, etc. (e.g. it begins with the letter “m” and makes the “mmm” sound). The sound the letter makes is important.
What do you do during reading time with young readers?
1. Look at the cover before opening the book. Predict/discuss what the book is about. Point out the title, author and illustrator (and yes, use those big words—they will get them).
2. Pause at times during reading to help with words or to point out important things, but not so much that the enjoyment of reading is compromised…you want the story to flow and you can always go back to look at difficult words after the story.
3. After you finish reading, ask some questions—Did you like the book? How many puppies were there in the story? Who was the nasty cat? …and so on.
4. Find some new words and explain their meaning. Better still, help them look them up in a dictionary.
Do you still read with confident readers and teenagers?
The answer to that is a big YES…if they will let you. Take it in turns reading. Read books they will enjoy and share their interests.
1. Befriend your local librarian—she or he will be a valuable source of information on what books teens and pre-teens are going crazy over. I have found teenagers can suddenly become more interested in reading once they find an author that they an relate to. It also helps if they are beautiful writers such as J.K. Rowling or John Marsden, but other popular fiction is fine just try not to cringe too much when you are reading it with them. 🙂
2. Find a subject that they love. Read magazines or books on motorbikes, horses, snakes. You will find many of these at the library or at Op shops.
3. Comics are great and easier to read in short spurts—wonderful for that short attention span.
We hope you have found this article helpful. We are passionate about providing assistance in educating children.
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Written By: Veronica (teacher and school mum) & Jenny (artist and school mum) @ TeachEzy