When children love to read, it makes learning so much easier for them while they’re in school—and, in fact, for the rest of their lives. So, the question is how to encourage them to read and to find pleasure in doing so. This post shares four tips, along with highlights about reading milestones.
Because children each learn to read at different paces, these milestones should be used as general guidelines, not hard and fast deadlines. According to Akron Children’s Hospital, by the time your child is three, he or she will likely want to independently explore books, remain interested in longer books that are read aloud, and happily retell familiar stories. At age four, they can typically recognize rhyming words, name some letters in the alphabet and match some letters with their sounds. By age five, they will likely be able to match some written words with the spoken ones, recognize some familiar words in print, and have the ability to predict what might happen next in a story.
Now, here are tips to help encourage your child in his or her reading quest.
4 Tips to Encourage Reading
Tip No. 1: Take Advantage of Reading Moments
As another article from Akron Children’s Hospital shares, there are moments throughout the day when reading can easily be fit into the schedule. Whether that’s while you’re in the pediatrician’s waiting room or on a bus ride, at home after dinner or before bedtime, find ways to make books available to your children. While at the grocery store, read labels with your young child. When cooking, read recipes together. The goal is to have reading become a natural part of your family’s life (if it isn’t already), which can cause children to read without them really even thinking about it.
Tip No. 2: Let Your Child Pick Out Books
As yet another article from Akron Children’s Hospital points out, children are more likely to become engaged with and want to read something that interests them. In that way, they aren’t any different from adults! So, take your child to the library, for example, and let him or her choose books to check out. Even if they’re joke books, it builds vocabulary and reading skills, and reinforces the idea that, yes, reading can be fun.
Then, as your child becomes comfortable with books, you can broaden his or her horizon, choosing books on different topics, and selecting ones that gradually become more challenging to read.
Tip No. 3: Read Aloud–and Reinforce by Repetition
As you read books out loud to your young children, they’ll see how you enjoy books and how your family can have fun together by reading. This will also help them to connect the letters they see on the page with the sounds you’re making as you read.
And, don’t be surprised if your youngster gets a favorite book or two that he or she wants to hear over and over. As you repeat a well-loved story, children become more confident with the text. Plus, each time, your child may notice something new about the book that helps to advance comprehension skills.
Tip No. 4: Encourage Your Child
Children learn through encouragement, and that includes their reading skills. When a child knows you are supporting him or her, this can make a world of difference—both in the reading skills gained and the enjoyment gleaned from the process. So, remember . . . encourage your child!