How to Help Your Child Succeed as a Reader

How to Help Your Child Succeed as a Reader

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Posted: February 27, 2018

By Perry and Cherilyn Ashley – Tutoring Club of Northern CO.  – January 16, 2018

Want your child to succeed as a reader, then read aloud together?   Reading aloud with your child can be a challenge for parents, from developing a consistent nightly reading time to showing patience while hearing one’s child struggle to learn to read.    As soon as their child develops reading skills, many parents stop reading aloud with their child, which can affect their child’s reading growth and fluency.    



The Joy of Reading!   

As parents, our goal is to motivate our children to read so they will desire to practice reading on their own and, thus, become fluent readers.  This happens best when a child has a joy of reading, just as they have for TV or video games.  For instance, sitting with a group of children in front of the television can be eye opening.   For every commercial they view, the children recited each actor’s line perfectly.   As parents, we need to have the same zeal as these advertisers by “advertising” how great reading can be.  We do this by reading great stories, poems and fantasies aloud to them, so they can see how fun reading can be.  Simply read a passage of a book and have your children describe the surroundings of the scene.   Make it fun and see where their imagination takes you.
In a report concerning “The State of Kids and Reading” reported that “Half of Children ages 6-17 (51%) are not currently reading a book for fun and another one in five (20%) just finished one.   The report goes on to report that, “The percentage of children who say reading books for fun is extremely or very important drops after age 8.”
As parents, by teaching our children to read we are giving them the tools they need to succeed in life.   Conquering the written word through books develops a life skill that will allow your child to succeed in our digital age.  As Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power.”  There is though more to reading than just non- fiction. Books come in different genres, and finding the genera one likes can be tricky, but is ultimately enjoyable.  Remember, books enrich our minds, allows one to relax, and can take one on a magical journey away from one’s stressful life.     

With your assistance, your child can start a lifelong relationship with the printed word, allowing them to grow into adults who read easily and frequently.   

Learning to Read

Do you remember when you started to learn to read?    The answer for most of us began between the ages of 4 and 7, when we started recognizing words on a page.   To parents, this becomes evident when a child recognizes their favorite cereal or an advertising logo.   At this time, they are starting to recognize and decode letters.   

This time for parents should be an exciting time where one can start exposing your child to stories, songs and poems.   It helps during this time to remember that as an adult, one can take a lot of things for granted when one reads.  Here are a few key points that should make it easier to read aloud time with your children with patience.   

There’s a difference between words and pictures. Point to the print as you read aloud.
Words on a page have meaning, and that is what we learn to read.
Words go across the page from left to right. Follow with your finger as you read
Words on a paper are made up of letters and are separated by a space.
Each letter has at least two forms: one for capital letters and one for small letters.
Each letter makes its own sound, and those sounds make up words.  
Be encouraging and focus on the positive.  

As parents we forget that written words can seem like hieroglyphics to our children, and learning how solve them takes time.   Therefore, patience is extremely important.  

Learning starts at the home
As Geoffrey Holder stated, “Education begins at home.  You can’t blame the school for not putting into your child what you don’t put into them.”   The love of reading is a prime example.  Children who are read out loud to grow to love books and have significantly higher reading scores than students whose parents are less involved in helping their child to read at home.    

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not. In a study of fourth-grade classroom reading comprehension skills it became obvious which students parent were involved and those who had low involvement.   Those classes that had high involvement among parents reading at home where 29 points higher than the national average.   Those classes that had low involvement had a reading score 46 points below the national average.   (
By reading aloud together, one becomes an example, and by doing other activates, parents instill a value to reading.   Children begin to look forward to this time and develop special memories.   Remember the first time one went to Neverland?  Stepped through the wardrobe into Narnia?  Helped Cinderella get ready for the ball?  Went on an adventure with Raggedy Ann and Andy?  Sailed the open seas with Stuart Little? Or stepped out onto the Prairie with Laura Ingalls Wilder?  This list could go on forever, with all the exciting adventures we’ve turned into memories through reading.    Some of these adventures made us cry, and some made us laugh, but by being there reading these stories with your children, they become lifelong memories you share together.