Each time we read a book, we are inferring, questioning, analyzing, and drawing conclusions in just a few minutes in order to understand the text. These practices seem second-nature to us as adults, but for children, even the seemingly simple task of sounding words out requires intense focus and mental strength. Whether children are four or fourteen, they need to be taught how to develop and cultivate these skills to make them effective readers.
- Make Reading A Habit; Children who are active readers at a young age get better jobs and grades, and have higher overall self-esteem. Set aside time each day for reading. 15-20 minutes is the goal, but what matters is the amount of reading that can be accomplished in that amount of time, not necessarily the time spent doing it. Make sure the room is free of all distractions like television, technology, and loud noises. Reading time can be a collaborative effort where you read to, or with your child, or an independent activity. Encourage independence in your child by having them read to you while you do other tasks.
- Encourage Your Child to Interact With the Text; Good readers ask questions. Encourage your child to ask questions about the text and summarize what they’ve read so far. In addition, “asking questions will make your child want to look for clues in the text” and draw real-world connections. Be sure to stop regularly and make sure your child understands what they have just read. If they haven’t, go back and have them re-read, or look at pictures to help them understand the story better.
- Engage Reluctant Readers; Having your child read out loud is a great way to keep them engaged with the story. The vocal inflections that they use for different scenes and character voices will help them understand the context clues of the story better. Be sure to provide your child a wide variety of reading material and allow them to choose what they want to read: this will appeal to their independence and let them feel invested in their improvement. Some children are wary about reading because they feel like they do not know enough about the story or topic. If your child is like this, provide some slightly easier, supplemental material for them to read. “Some prior knowledge will help them make their way through tougher classroom texts” and improve reading comprehension.
Our Reading Genie program provides a comprehensive structure from start to finish that is catered to your child’s specific reading needs. If you’re looking for a program that has your child’s best interest and visible improvement at its core, call Math Genie at (732-651-2700) to schedule a free Reading Assessment and put your child on the path to success.