Great to welcome Cristin Howard to the site to offer some reading tips for us all.
Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.
Reading is such a valuable skill to have, and because of that, parents and children often feel a lot of pressure revolving around learning to read well.
If we, as parents, can lighten the load and make the process of learning phonics and sight words more enjoyable, then your child may go from dreading reading to jumping with joy when it’s time to practice!
Create A Reading Space
In order to make reading not seem like a burden, kids should have a special place to read that will allow them to feel comfortable and not be distracted by the business of the day or piles of toys.
Choose a corner of a quiet room and repurpose it to be the reading space. Hang a curtain to the side or behind where you will be sitting to give it an atmosphere of being a separate room in the house. Spruce it up with a comfortable area rug to sit on with pillows propped up to lean against.
Bring Books To Life
Reading aloud to your kids is the first stepping stone to their enjoyment of reading. Before you sit down with your children to practice reading, read them a few of their favorite books. Make each sentence meaningful with facial expressions. Amplify your voice when the pages are exciting and whisper when there are mysterious characters involved.
By bringing the book to life with your intonations, your children will see how much fun you’re having and will feel inspired to copy you. Another way to keep reading in a positive light is to have your kids grab dress-up clothes and act out the story as you read it. Let them repeat speaking sentences when it’s their character’s turn to talk.
Most importantly, keep reading out loud to your children even after they learn to read. By giving them a daily example of how much fun reading can be, It will encourage them to enjoy reading for themselves.
Incorporate Reading Resources
Sometimes kids need a little extra push to achieve their reading goals, and there is no shame in that! If you feel that you are unable to give your child all the help they need, utilizing reading resources will allow you to assume the role of support instead of teacher, which depending on your child’s learning style, may benefit both of you.
Learning the phonetic sounds is the first stepping stone to reading successfully. If you are looking for trusted resources to help your child master these concepts, adding Online games, Children Learning Reading, or Hooked On Phonics to your teaching arsenal is a great way to enhance your child’s reading practice. They will love the games, flashcards, and activities included with these learning materials.
Consider Your Child’s Interests
If you feel like your child is dragging their feet when it comes to reading, and it’s not because they are having trouble with the words, then it may be worth your time to stock up on books that have topics related to things your child is passionate about! If your son is all about space, dinosaurs and animals, then reading books about apple trees or about runaway dogs may cause him to drag his feet.
Let your child experience joy while reading by letting them engage in books that make them excited to read! Yes, your child and read through the books you want them to, but when they are young, learning to read well is the goal. So if parents can make that happen with topics they love, it will be well worth it.
Leave Words Around The House
If you find that your child enjoys reading more when they don’t “have” to, then start leaving words around the house so they can practice without noticing! Write a word with a bar of soap on the bathroom mirror, use ketchup on their plates at lunchtime to make a few short words, or make sugar cookies together and use icing to write some simple words you know they will recognize.
See if your child notices the words on their own and tries to read them without prompting. If they aren’t taking the hint, act surprised to see the words and make a game out of it!
Your Role As The Parent
Be your child’s greatest cheerleader! For many kids reading is extremely stressful, and if you can take some effort to change your child’s view of reading from a chore to a fun activity, then they will begin to see the beauty of reading stories.
Encouragement is everything! Bake cookies to snack on between books and phonics activities, and most of all, give out hugs and whoops-and-hollers when you see even the tiniest bit of improvement.
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