Teaching reading is not an easy task and often one reading strategy might not work for some students.
However, elementary school teachers have to undertake this big task for dozens of students. It is inevitable that some children might fall behind with reading.
When your child needs help learning to read, it is important to make them feel empowered and motivated to improve. Your child might already be frustrated with reading and needs every bit of encouragement they can get.
Luckily, there are tons of activities, strategies, and tools you can use at home to make reading and learning fun.
Why is learning to read important?
Reading is an essential skill that your child will improve and continue to learn in school. Learning to read is so important because it is a skill that your child will use beyond school.
But as mentioned, learning to read can be frustrating for a struggling reader. Your child might ask you why learning to read is so important in the first place.
While we all know reading is important, it can be difficult to even explain why. There are tons of reasons why learning to read is important, but here are five main reasons to tell your child:
- Reading helps to develop other language skills – learning to read can help your child enhance their writing, speaking, and listening skills. Reading introduces them to new vocabulary and grammar that they can use in the other language skills.
- Reading is a primary way to learn – In the beginning, your child is learning to read. Eventually, they will make the switch to reading to learn. Reading is the main way they will learn new information and concepts.
- Reading can bring you new adventures – Reading can help your child develop their creativity and even learn about new cultures and countries without even leaving their home.
- Reading enhances your social skills – With reading, your child can build common connections with other people. Reading gives the background knowledge and curiosity to meet new people and broaden their horizons.
- Reading is used everywhere – Your child will continue to use their reading skills well beyond school. They will use it when they are grocery shopping, at their jobs, ordering at a restaurant, and just in their everyday lives.
Why is my child struggling with reading?
With reading being such an important life skill, not just academic skill, helping your child learn to read is especially important if they are struggling.
Before even figuring out how to help your child, you should try to figure out why your child is struggling with reading in the first place. Here are some common reasons why children struggle with learning to read:
- The reading material is too difficult for your child. Some kids just do not learn as quickly as others, so the reading material your child is reading might just be too advanced.
- The reading material is too easy. On the other hand, some kids actually are more advanced readers and end up getting bored with the reading material they are being provided.
- Your child might have an undetected learning or reading disability. If you suspect your child might have dyslexia or a learning disability, you should discuss it with your child’s teacher to see if they should be assessed and tested.
- Your child’s phonological and phonemic awareness still needs to be improved and developed. The groundwork for reading starts with your child being able to associate specific sounds to letters. If they have not had enough practice or familiarity with this, they will likely struggle with decoding words and reading all together.
How can I help my child learn to read?
Helping your child learn to read is just a matter of incorporating reading practice into their everyday routines. Here are some tools and activities than help your child learn to read:
- Use reading apps – There are tons of reading apps available, and there are even some that target specific reading skills.
However, a good reading app like Readability helps to improve several reading skills at once.
In fact, Readability can help improve reading skills and other language skills like speaking and listening. The app allows for your child to listen to the app as it reads to them, giving them a model for good reading.
Yet, the app also allows for your child to read the story aloud and the app will catch any pronunciation errors and provide them instant feedback. This can especially help with enhancing your child’s reading fluency.
- Make reading goals – Reading goals can help your child feel more motivated and actually see the progress they are making. You can set one big goal for them such as finishing a book all by themselves, or you can set smaller weekly goals like learning a new vocabulary word and using it.
- Get in the kitchen– Cookbooks are a great source for reading practice because they use simple grammar structures and create a task-based activity that integrates reading skills. You and your child can pick a recipe to make together. When you cook together, have them be the person to read the instructions on the recipe.
- Create a reading nook – Sometimes a big reason your child is not feeling motivated to read is because they are too easily distracted from the things around them. Creating a special reading nook for them can give them a special quiet area for them to concentrate on reading.
- Read a book series as a family – Kids learn best when the rest of the family is involved in the learning process with them. Your family can choose a book series that is appropriate for all reading levels to read as a family. You can have book discussions over dinner and it is a great way to create stronger family bonds.
- Make your own story books – If your child cannot seem to find a book that interests them, encourage them to create their own stories and books instead. This can help them improve their reading and writing skills as well as gives them a creative outlet.
Learning to read is so important for your child to be successful academically. But, it is also an important skill that needs to be practiced often.
Reading can help to open up doors in the future for your child. It is not just struggling readers that should be getting reading practice either.
All new readers can benefit from getting practice whenever and wherever they are. Readability is a great way to have access to reading practice 24/7. The app can help struggling readers to read more fluently and gives them a model of good reading skills whenever they need it.