Over the Christmas break, I have had numerous parents reaching out to me for advice on how to help their children to improve their reading. With the lack of consistency and many distractions faced at schools over the last few years it is no wonder some children are falling behind. This of course is a major concern for parents. To help with this problem, we have developed 5 reading tips that we find extremely useful at Primary Tutor Project, that you can use at home with your child!
Find out what they like:
Find out what your child likes at the moment e.g. Minecraft, Roblox, Among Us. Its surprising how often a child’s interests changes throughout the year – so try and keep up! Also, don’t be afraid to use technology – there are a wealth of ebooks available online which create a different reading experience!
Start at a suitable level:
It’s important to choose books that are within your child’s ability. A book too difficult will discourage your child and leave them feeling frustrated, uninterested, and unengaged in the learning process. Readers who are struggling may need help with their basic phonemic awareness or phonics skills. Although it may seem like taking a step backwards, if the early skills are not addressed first, students will continue to experience frustration. Some useful tips here.
Have a routine with your reading time:
Having a routine is essential for your child to feel comfortable in their learning. Let your child decide when and for how the reading session will take place. Giving your child a sense of control will encourage them to engage. Provide instructions and routines that your child can easily understand and follow. Don’t over complicate things. Keep things predictable!
Teach using all the senses:
Instead of just telling a child, “this is the letter m,” let the student see the letter, trace it on different tactile surfaces, form the body into the shape of the letter, hear the sound the letter makes, see how the mouth makes the sound, build it with dough, and so on. There are endless sensory opportunities for learning about letters, or any concept.
Children train their brains and develop their skills when they participate in multi-sensory activities. When teaching a word, try and get your child to see the word, draw it with different textured crayons / markers etc. There are numerous possibilities – hear the sound the word makes, see how the mouth makes the word, build it with dough, make the word with lego etc. Here is a link to a useful resource for some inspiration.
Lastly, if it is needed – seek professional help:
There is a vast amount of research on effective approaches on reading tips and for teaching struggling readers. Therefore it is important to highlight your concerns in your child’s school and seek out further help if needed. Please feel free to contact us here at Primary Tutor Project for further advice or if you would like to find out how we could help your child fall in love with reading!