Reading is often something that many young children struggle with. You might find that when they start school it seems they are thrown in at the deep end, but there are things that you can do at home with your child to help them with their reading. It is important to make time to help them with this, the more you can do with your child, the more confident they will become. However, it isn’t necessarily about long periods of time, but more about how you help and what you do when you are trying to encourage reading. Here are a few ways to help your young child with their reading.
Use picture books at first
One of the best ways to start encouraging reading more is to make use of picture books. This is often the first port of call for a school. You might wonder why your child is bringing home just a picture storybook, but this is where you can help. While looking at the pictures, discuss what you see and ask your child questions. It might be asking them what they think is happening? How the character on the page is feeling? It might even be to point out particular items or colours. This keeps the interest and helps your child to learn more. As they start to get confident they will come home with a book with a few words, but you might want to keep up with this sort of practice to help expand on what they are reading.
Nursery rhymes and songs
Nursery rhymes and songs are a lot of fun and many kids and adults love singing along to them. But they also have great use in terms of reading. They can help your child to learn and understand the sounds of syllables and also rhyming sounds. Some books have a rhyme to them as well to keep a flow and to keep the reader engaged. Try and keep up with songs and nursery rhymes at home.
Flash cards are also a great way to help your child recognise words. You may have done a lot of flashcards to help encourage talking when your child was younger, but now you can create your own with some simple words that appear a lot in books. You can use these flash cards to help them recognise words, which will make it much easier as they start to read more or bring home books with longer sentences.
Read the same books and do it together
The more you read together, the more confident your child will become with reading. If you can do this daily then even better. Another great tip is to try and read the same books. This gives familiarity to your child but also allows you to help them learn to read. For example, you can start to read a sentence but then pause at a word and ask your child what it is. Point to it so they can see it. The familiarity might mean they know the book off by heart, but they will then piece that word to how it looks on the page as you point it out. You can then ask them to finish the sentence as they get more confident.
Letter magnets or bath letters
If they are struggling with the way words look on the page then a great idea is to use letter magnets and bath letters. It means that reading and recognising words becomes a game. They can reposition the letters and try and spell words correctly. Or you can make up words for them and ask them to tell you what they are.
Create a reading environment
If you can create an area perfect for reading then this will encourage them to do it more. A cosy corner, or a book nook, in their rooms, an area where they can easily access their books, a comfortable chair or pillows and blankets around. This will help them to feel happier with doing it and able to concentrate while enjoying where they are.
Make it fun
Finally, you will want to do what you can to make it fun. Reading isn’t something that comes naturally to younger children and not everyone takes to it so easily. You will have some kids that are defiant and will not want to try. But the more fun that you make through games or participating yourself, the more inclined they will be to do it.
Hopefully, these tips will help your young child with their reading.
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