5 Unique Ways to Practice Reading With Your Child
By Paige A. Mitchell
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ and for young children, learning to read is no exception. Research has shown that children who regularly practice their reading skills, even for as little as 15 minutes a day, can see great improvement.
Unfortunately, getting your child to sit down and focus on reading isn’t always an easy thing to do. But with a little creativity, you can help your child learn to enjoy reading while also improving their skills.
Keep reading to learn five unique ways to practice reading with your child.
1. Create a cool reading area
If your child likes to feel comfortable and relaxed while reading, having a cool distraction-free reading area could help make reading more fun.
This reading area can be a simple section in your living room with pillows and all of your child’s favorite books, or it can be an elaborate reading nook filled with color and unique furniture.
If your child has a special place that’s dedicated to their favorite books, reading may become an activity they look forward to instead of dreading.
2. Take turns reading
Many kids are motivated by the examples set by those around them, especially their parents. One of the best ways to get your child engaged in reading is to practice shared reading.
You can start by reading a paragraph aloud and then asking your child to read the following paragraph. Once your child starts feeling more confident, you can take turns reading longer sections, which might turn into chapters and then full novels.
3. Find books with characters your child can relate to
Getting through a book that you have absolutely no connection to can be tough for anyone. Children (and even adults) are more likely to be interested in stories centered around characters they can relate to.
If your child is a big fan of sports, it may be a good idea to practice reading with books about sports and athletes. Or perhaps they’re animal lovers. Then, choose a story with talking elephants and flying pigs. This can help children sharpen their reading abilities while also helping them learn more about things and people that interest them.
4. Ask for help with household chores
Have a DIY or home improvement project coming up? This could be the perfect opportunity to get some quality time with your reader-in-training.
Encourage your child to sound out words in instruction manuals for installing an appliance or repairing a car. They can read reviews of services and products and help you sort through junk mail. This can be a great way to get your child involved around the house while also allowing them to practice reading.
You might remember this tip from the TV show, Parenthood, when Zeke helps his grandson, Victor, learn to read by rehabbing a retro car together. Victor later goes on to write an award-winning essay on the experience. Hurrah!
Grocery shopping and cooking are other chores kids can help with while practicing reading. Let them write a grocery list before leaving the house and ask them what’s next on the list while you’re at the market. Then, let aspiring young chefs help in the kitchen by reading recipes step by step as you prepare dinner.
5. Read books that were turned into movies
If your child loves movies, reading books that have been made into films can help them stay motivated.
Once your child has finished the book, the whole family can watch the movie together as a reward for finishing another book. You can even discuss some of the differences and similarities between the book and the movie to ensure your child has picked up on important details.
By making reading fun, you can take the frustration out of the learning process. Practicing reading with your child is one of the many steps to helping develop the skills that’ll be necessary to succeed in school and in life.