Reading well is the single most important skill for young children to learn. Reading skills are essential in life – just think about how difficult basic tasks would be if you couldn’t read. You couldn’t even use a smartphone or a computer if you weren’t able to read. That’s why it is absolutely essential that you and your children’s school work together to help your children become confident readers. There are various methods that you can use to achieve this.
Encourage reading at home
In the early days, kids shouldn’t just be reading at school. Making an effort to introduce more reading opportunities at home will help make reading a natural part of life and will expose your kids to more words and phrases. Parents should take time out of their evenings or mornings to read with their children. Switch off the TV or ask your kids to put the iPad down – it’s reading time. Some kids enjoy reading and others don’t. If your kids are in the latter group, perhaps a reward system could be put in place – maybe they can have some TV time only once they’ve done their reading for the evening.
Take an active role in reading
Reading time should not just be about the children staring blankly at a page for 15 minutes while you watch TV. You should make sure that they are actively reading the words and that if they are struggling with meanings or pronunciation, they can ask you for assistance. You could also take turns to read a page to them to help build their confidence and show that you are taking an interest.
Talk to the teachers
If your child is showing signs of struggling with reading then you should speak to their teacher about it as soon as possible. Teachers are generally supposed to be able to tell when kids are struggling but no one knows your child better than you. Once you’re aware that your child is not coping, you can discuss possible ways of helping the child to improve their reading, both at school and at home.
Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Reading Program
This is a specially designed program that is aimed at kids who are struggling with reading. This is something that is offered at schools and would be complementary to their other studies. It is conducted in small groups to give students more attention to help accelerate their reading and writing skills. The teaching changes depending on which grade your kids are in. The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Reading Program is a great option that teachers can use at school to help kids.
Kids who struggle with reading, especially when their friends are doing fine, will probably have their confidence knocked a bit. As their parent, you need to always be encouraging and be quick to let them know when they’ve done well. Reading is essential, of course, but you should also try and get across how enjoyable it is.