As parents know, reading is one of the most important things a child can learn to do. When you know how to read, the whole world is open to you, waiting for you to explore it. Reading is also fun, and a great way to pass time and learn about anything your heart desires. It is important for every area of life – how can a person figure out what their medication instructions say, or find out the ingredients on a product they are buying if they cannot read?
When a parent gets involved in their child’s education, success is much more likely. How does a parent assist a child who is having difficulty reading? Some children are naturally drawn to the written word, and other children’s strong points are elsewhere. Here are some ideas to help your struggling reader grasp this skill, and more importantly, learn to love it.
Read to Your Child
Nothing brings the love of reading to a child as much as being read to by a parent. Some of the greatest memories in a child’s life are of reading with their parent. Start a habit such as reading before bedtime, or make time for a book or two several times throughout the day.
Let Your Child Find You Reading
What a child sees mom or dad do, they too will want to do. Instead of going to your bedroom to read, sit on the couch and be seen by your children. Let them soak up your love of learning and see you enjoying the activity you are telling them the importance of.
Have Good Books Lying Around
Is your child interested in horses? Or do they have a keen interest in vehicles or sports? Then buy several interesting books about the subject and leave them lying around on coffee tables and countertops. Make good reading material available and you may be surprised to find your child sitting and reading the books you enticed them with.
Neither Too Hard nor Too Easy
Encourage your child to read, and choose books that are appropriate for their level. If you give them books above their level, it will frustrate them. But books that are too easy can turn away a child who feels insulted by it. Happily in between the two is what to aim for.
Read Everything around You
When you are driving, read signs together. When at the mall, point out store names and sound them out phonetically. Words are everywhere you look, and you can take advantage of this. It will give your child lots of practice, and will reinforce the importance of reading.
Be Patient and Encouraging
When your child reads to you, resist the urge to jump in and correct them every time they make a mistake. This will only cause frustration. Be patient and help them sound it out on their own. If they are struggling, try not to show any impatience. Instead, encourage them not to give up. Give hints only when necessary.
Make It a Game
There are many fun games that teach spelling and reading inadvertently. Games such as Scrabble, Upwords, Boggle and many more will have your child enjoying himself so much, he will not even realize he is learning to read at the same time.
Reading is a lifelong gift, and one that is most easily instilled in a person when they are young. Encourage your struggling reader and open up their world by showing them all the places they can go in life as they learn this valuable skill.