How to make learning to read fun!
Many parents struggle to get their children to read at home. This is often because kids find reading a difficult chore, rather than an enjoyable escape into a magical world.
Here are five tips parents can use to encourage reluctant readers.
Make it active
Learning to read does not need to be sedentary. In fact, learning to read should engage all the senses in order to support different learning styles and generate a true understanding of the usefulness of reading in the real world. With young children, learning letter names and sounds can be made into a fun game by sticking letters on the floor and calling out letters or sounds for your child to hop onto. Children who are beginning to read and spell can also practice spelling simple words by hopping onto the letters needed to spell words that you call out. With older children you could create a treasure hunt with written clues leading to a treat at the end of the game. The possibilities for creating fun, active games that promote reading skills are endless! You can discover more in our programs.
Engage their interests
Find books that will appeal to your child’s interests. Visit the local library or a bookshop and show your child that there are many books about their favourite characters, personalities and topics. Suggest books your child may enjoy with lots of images and not too much text that it is overwhelming. Non-fiction books may be more appealing than storybooks to some children. Discovering new facts about favourite topics can be an excellent way of enticing children into the wonderful world of books.
Make it a challenge
Some kids love a challenge or a competition. Start a reading challenge at home that links to rewards or pocket money. Children could earn points towards a reward for each word, page or book that they read, depending upon their age and learning stage. Have a family leader board tracking which family member reads the most books, or set a goal for a number of books to be read. You could even get involved in reading events, such as the MS Read-a-thon. A little positive motivation can often go a long way.
Don’t use negative pressure
Children who don’t like reading usually avoid it because they find it difficult, and it makes them feel bad about their abilities. Boost children’s confidence through encouragement and praise their efforts and achievements. Acknowledge that reading is difficult, and that you can see their struggles. Explain that reading will get easier with practice, and that everyone becomes a good reader at different ages. Draw their attention to new things that they have learned and celebrate their successes. Show them that you are there to support them and help them to improve, not to chastise them for struggling. Be your child’s cheering squad on the road to independent reading.
Create special moments
Kids who do not like reading often feel this way due to negative experiences struggling with books. Try to create a positive reading experience by making time for special moments to read to your child. Spending a few minutes cuddled up with your child, and a book is not only enjoyable; it creates a special, bonding experiences and cultivates a positive perception of reading. Reading to your child daily is also an important part of teaching your child to read and use language. Children who are read to daily are proven to have a larger vocabulary and a better understanding of language. They also tend to develop literacy skills more easily than those who are not read to.
I hope that these tips help you to convince your child that reading can be fun. Become a member to access our daily activities.