There’s no denying that literacy is an essential life skill. No matter what stage of education a child has reached, being unable to read or write at an age-appropriate level is guaranteed to cause significant problems. While many educators make every effort to ensure that students are able to read and write, this responsibility can’t rest exclusively with them. This is where parental involvement enters the equation. Depending on the child, additional reading lessons at home may be necessary for full comprehension to be achieved. Parents looking to help their little ones build strong reading skills can benefit from the following pointers.
- Consistency is Key
As the adage goes, “Practice makes perfect.” When helping your child develop an affinity for reading, take care to place a strong emphasis on consistency. The more often your child engages in an activity, the more comfortable he or she will become with it. While they may initially complain about having to practice reading at home, they’ll eventually come to regard it as part of their daily routine. Setting aside a little bit of time to help your child practice reading each day can go a long way in boosting their proficiency. Whether you prefer to do this in the morning or at the end of the day, it’s important to be consistent. Children thrive on routine, and if reading practice occurs at different times each day, they’re liable to have trouble committing themselves to it.
- The Material Should Be Interesting
When helping your child practice reading, make sure the material you use is of interest to him or her. Even if reading is far from your child’s favorite activity, odds are you can find books that focus on subject matter he or she finds fascinating. The more invested a child becomes in the material, the more incentive they have to power through and continue reading. Parents working with very small children will be well-served by teaching materials that emphasize guided reading.
- Utilize a Reward System
Ideally, learning would be its own reward, but as any seasoned parent can attest, this view isn’t shared by most kids. Many children work better if they stand to gain something. With this in mind, consider utilizing a reward system in your efforts to increase your child’s reading comprehension. For example, for every book your child finishes, you could take him or her to the movies, a favorite restaurant or some other type of leisure spot. If you child feels like they’re working towards something, they’re more likely to devote themselves to the task at hand.
Being unable to read or write at a level befitting one’s age can lead to problems at any stage of life. This is why developing solid literacy skills as early as possible can be a boon to every child. Unfortunately, many parents regard this as the domain of seasoned educators and wash their hands of the matter. While teachers play an invaluable role in helping children become literate, parental involvement is often vital to this process.