Helping Your Child Become a Confident Reader

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As with most childhood skills, the journey towards your child becoming a confident reader begins during their early years. Simply by reading to your child each day, you are setting them up for success with not only just reading, but also for school and beyond. But it’s not the only thing you can do to help boost your child’s reading confidence, and we’d love to share a few ideas with you.

8 Ways to Help Your Child Become a Confident Reader

Most children do not receive formal reading instruction until they start school, though many show interest in how words work beforehand. Early reading skills such as talking about the pictures, finger pointing to words, retelling a story, and predicting what happens next are great skills to model for your child. As they grow older, there’ll be additional reading skills to master, such as letter to sound identification, punctuation, and grammar.

At home, there are plenty of ways you can support your child and help build your child’s confidence in reading, including these eight ideas:

  1. Offer a variety of books – there are so many wonderful books available to read to your child or have them read. Try to keep a range of fiction and nonfiction books at home. Topics and themes could be chosen based upon your child’s interests, current events, or even daily routines. You also don’t just need to stick with picture or chapter books either.
  2. Get interactive – when reading aloud to your child, really get into the story by using a different voice for each character, act out the story, hold a puppet show and even make your voice louder and quieter as you go.
  3. Read together – work together to read, such as taking turns reading sentences or pages, talking about the pictures, and turning the pages. The simple act of being there with your child shows them that you care and are there to support them.
  4. Read to different audiences – if your child is concerned about making mistakes when reading aloud, change their reading audience. The dog, their favourite teddy or baby sister can’t read and won’t notice if mistakes are made.
  5. Keep reading sessions short – reading requires a lot of concentration. Shorter sessions reduce stress levels, especially for struggling readers.
  6. Be a role model – children learn a lot through observation. Talk your thoughts aloud as you select a book, then when reading aloud, demonstrate what you would do if you don’t know a word or can’t recall what happened on a previous page.
  7. Practice each day – words are everywhere and it can be fun to find ones to read in different places. From those on the cereal box through to road signs and advertisements, there is plenty of opportunity to practice reading even when you don’t have a book handy.
  8. Encourage and celebrate – every small milestone in your child’s reading journey is a cause for celebration! Praise their efforts and persistence when reading with phrases such as “I know you can do it!” or “Making mistakes is how we learn.”

Reading is a skill every child should master and as parents and caregivers, it’s up to us to help our children feel great about themselves and their reading efforts. Make every day a great reading day!

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