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Helping Your Child Become a Good Reader

written by: Vandana Singhal • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 6/6/2012

Reading is possibly the most important skill your child will learn. Elementary school is the best time to introduce effective activities to improve good reading skills. Find out how you as a parent can encourage your child to love reading.

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    Many children struggle with developing good reading skills despite attending school consistently. Your child can become a better reader if you help them with their reading projects. Elementary school is usually the time when reading projects become a part of your child's curriculum. You simply need to be a parent who takes an interest in your child’s development and growth. It requires just 15 minutes of reading activities together to achieve a significant improvement in your child’s reading skills at the elementary level.

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    Three Levels of Reading

    As there are three reading levels, you should select reading activities appropriate for your child. These reading levels are Independent level, Instruction Level and Frustration Level.

    • At the Independent Level, the child should be able to read fluently without any help.
    • At the Instruction Level, the child is building decoding and comprehension skills.
    • At the Frustration Level, a child cannot read without constant support. Do not give your child books which induce frustration, as it discourages reading.
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    Tips for Helping your Child

    • Choose good books
    • Create a reading corner at home
    • Read Aloud
    • Get a children’s Magazine subscription
    • Get your child a library card
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    Determine the Reading Level of your Child

    You can test your child’s reading level. Get a book and open it to a passage in the middle of the story. Ask your child to read aloud about 100 words that you have already marked. If the child completes the reading with only one or two errors or pauses, the book is at his independent level. If he faces three to five errors, it is at the instruction level. If there are more errors, the child is reading at the frustration level.

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    Reading Aloud

    Reading is an activity that should be introduced as early as possible. Reading aloud to an elementary school student is as important as to a preschool learner. Even older kids enjoy their parents reading aloud to them. Get books of their interest and read them one chapter daily at bedtime. Reading aloud helps develop your child’s listening comprehension.

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    Share Reading with your Child

    To encourage your child to read more positively, find books which are at his or her independent reading level. Silent and independent reading is the best reading activity to develop interests and learn new information. Before your child reads a book, you should preview it. Once the child finishes reading, you can discuss thoughts, concerns, questions, characters and other things. Give your child enough space to put forward independent ideas. This will enhance reading comprehension skills.

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    Create A Reading Journal

    Maintaining a reading journal is a great way to arouse interest in reading. The journal should keep track of titles read, thoughts, concerns, and any questions. Also encourage your child to rate each book or chapter according to his level of interest. This activity develops meta-cognitive thinking and writing skills.

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    Watching the Movie

    There are several classics which are made into movies. Have your child read a classic book and once it's complete, the whole family can watch the movie together.

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    Using appropriate literature and simple activities, you can help your child improve their reading skills. The parent’s active involvement with their elementary level child in many fun and interesting reading activities will create a useful experience with books, stories and reading. This continuous positive experience is the basis of life-long reading skills in your child. This gift of reading at an early age will open the doors of vast knowledge and learning.

References

  • http://www.rif.org/parents/tips/default.mspx