In a world where distraction is everywhere and the constant tapping of a smartphone is a common sight, it can be tough to convince your kids to put down the electronics and read. Other times a reading disorder like dyslexia can discourage kids from reading. Helping them overcome such limitations helps reinforce the importance of literacy and storytelling. It’s a great way to make sense of the world around us.
Reading is a wonderful way to learn new things, develop valuable skills and open up an entire world of stories for kids of all ages. There are a few ways to help your kids develop a love of reading while enhancing their reading skills and comprehension. Parents and teachers have quite a few tools that can really inspire a love of the written word and several programs that can help. Here are a few tips for helping your children develop a love of reading and assisting them with taking their current reading skills to higher levels.
Start reading to them from an early age
Reading to your kids early on can help them not only get better at reading, but also help them develop an interest and start branching out on their own. It can also help them excel and advance their skills on their own. Per a study by the University of Melbourne, children who are read to more often tend to possess higher reading skills as measured by parents and teachers at age 4-5. They also perform better on reading and math assessments overall. While continuing to read with kids will help nurture these abilities, getting them started with reading from an early age is beneficial for both their reading advancement/growth and cognitive development.
Provide additional learning resources
A curious mind loves to learn new things, especially when the mind is just starting to develop. Providing additional resources for learning difficult concepts, words or ideas can help a child better grow and develop their reading skills. Online resources like scholastic’s book-based assignments, library reading programs and discussing the story can all foster a love of reading.
Explore a variety of genres and story types
The world of reading and imagination is full of interesting stories, tales of adventure, lessons to be learned and no shortage of fantasy or science fiction. To help young children get the most out of reading and expand their skills at a comfortable pace, consider using a leveled learning system with them. Leveled books are a system of books organized in different levels of difficulty. There are easy books for beginning readers up to complex books for more advanced readers. They’re typically set up in a few levels:
aa – C levels are for beginning readers who are just starting to learn and understand what the different sounds of the letters are and how they go together. They tend to focus on the vowel and consonant relationship of the word as well as identifying high-frequency words.
D – J are typically for emergent readers or readers who are more familiar with the alphabet and starting to understand how phonics work to create the complex relationship of written language.
K – P are intended for readers who are to understand and comprehend the content of the book on their own along with the ability to distinguish between different tones/styles.
Q – Z2 leans into readers to fully understand what they’re reading and are interested/willing to explore new and different texts independently.
Leveled books provide several qualitative and quantitative measuring factors as well, including:
- Text predictability, structure and organization
- Illustrations to support the text
- Infographics to help understand performance
- Knowledge demands
- A succinct total word count
- The amount of different words and a measurement of whether their used often or seldomly
- Sentence length, structure and complexity as it relates to the book level
Most of these kinds of programs are developed with extensive research, speaking with teachers across a variety of locations and are useful for helping kids learn to read better, enjoy reading more and overcome reading comprehension and or other issues. They’re an amazing resource for teachers and parents alike.
Make reading a fun interactive experience
Acting out characters in addition to discussing hypothetical and interesting parts of the story can nurture a young imagination. Serves not only to enrich the reading experience and make it more palatable for the child, but to also provide an opportunity to interact in fun, amusing and non-electronic ways with your children. Whether you’re pretending to be a superhero in the story or doing voices for dashing villains, your child will appreciate an interactive reading experience as part of their formative years.