Learning to read is not easy, which is why some children may require additional instruction outside of the classroom. Establishing a reading program at home can help your child stay on track and improve their reading skills without ever stepping foot in a classroom. This may sound like a major commitment, but starting an at-home reading program for kids is actually easier than you may think. Here’s how to start a reading program at home:
Pick A Theme
A reading program may not sound very exciting to reluctant or struggling readers. But parents can make it more fun and appealing by creating a theme for their reading program.
For example, create a chart with an illustration of a pot of gold at the end of a bright and colorful rainbow. Then, use an illustration of a leprechaun to track your child’s progress in the reading program. The leprechaun should travel further and further over the rainbow as your child logs more reading time. Their goal should be to reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
You could also use a “Reading Raceway” theme. Track your child’s reading progress using a racecar that travels around the track as your child meets certain goals.
These are two examples of creative themes that can keep your child engaged in your reading program. No one knows your child better than you, so flex your creative muscle and come up with a theme that will appeal to them.
Set A Goal
It’s important to establish a goal for your child so they know what they are working toward in the reading program. Practice makes perfect, so the more your child reads, the better they will become.
Experts recommend that children read for at least 20 minutes per day at home. Based on this recommendation, set a goal for your child to read at least 140 minutes a week while participating in your at-home reading program.
Create A Reading Log
The goal of establishing a reading program at home is to encourage your child to read more often. The only way to see if your child is reaching this goal is to use a reading log to keep track of how much time they spend reading.
There are countless reading log templates available for free online. Download and print one of these templates at the start of your program. Then, show your child how to fill out the sheet so they know how to log their reading time.
Choose the Right Reading Materials
Selecting the right reading materials is the key to starting a successful reading program at home. Choose books at the appropriate reading level for your child. If you select books that are too advanced, your child will struggle to read them, which can be frustrating and disheartening.
Don’t select the books for your reading program on your own. Let your child have a say in what books will be included in the program as well. This way, your child will have an opportunity to choose books that interest them so they actually want to read.
Host Reading Groups
Hosting reading groups is a great way to make your reading program more fun. Ask other parents in your community if their children would like to participate in your reading program as well. Then, schedule a reading group whenever everyone has finished reading a particular book. Ask everyone in the group to discuss the book and encourage them to talk about what they liked and didn’t like.
Talking about a book will help your child improve their reading comprehension skills, which are crucial to their academic success. Scheduling reading groups is also a good way to help your child meet other readers in the community.
Make sure you reward your children once they reach their goals or achieve new reading milestones in the program. Choose any reward that you think your child would appreciate, such as a day off from chores, candy, an ice cream party, or a trip to their favorite park.
Giving your child rewards for reading will motivate them to continue working on their reading skills at home.
Download the Readability App
As they participate in your reading program, kids may need additional help with their phonics or reading comprehension skills. Provide them with the one-on-one help they need by downloading the Readability app on your smartphone or tablet.
The Readability app is designed with artificial intelligence and advanced speech recognition technology that allows it to communicate with your child just like a reading tutor would. The app listens to your child read and immediately corrects pronunciation errors to help them learn from their mistakes. It also asks questions about the text to keep your child engaged and interested.