Contrary to what some believe, learning to read is a “natural” process and does not happen by itself. It is a complex process and requires the proper teaching of various skills and strategies.
The good news is that while reading itself is a complex process, the steps to developing this skill are very simple and straightforward. Try these simple and proven methods to teach children to read and make it a positive and rewarding experience!
1) Read to Your Child
Reading to children from an early age: Parents can positively influence their children’s reading behavior by reading to them from an early age. For toddlers (up to 2.5 years old), this is mainly done with short stories and “tagging” (pointing to pictures in a book and discussing them by name).
Toddlers and preschoolers already understand more complex and longer stories. It is also beneficial to enter into a dialogue about the book. ”Who lives in the hole? Why is the rabbit sad? Who will come to his rescue? Do you think it will work?”
2) Reading to Older Children
Please do not stop reading immediately after your child can read on his/her own. Studies have shown that reading regularly to older children who can already read on their own is good for their language development. This can increase the child’s vocabulary. Serious topics such as bullying or the death of a grandparent are also ok.
Furthermore, a child’s interests and reading level may not always match. This is especially true for beginners. Some children would find certain topics boring, and this reduces their reading enjoyment by half. Parents should respond to this by reading more complex stories that the child cannot yet read.
3) Stimulate a Variety of Reading Activities
Stimulate a variety of reading activities. In addition to reading aloud, research shows that talking about books, giving books as gifts, and visiting bookstores and libraries stimulate reading behavior and motivation to read.
4) Reading Together
Reading: If the child is at the stage where he or she is able to read on his or her own, the parent can read with them, pointing to the text from time to time.
Additionally, the child can practice reading parts of the text alone. A “reading theater” book, in which two readers take turns reading a text and playing a kind of game, is ideal for this.
5) Set a Good Example
Set a good example: parents often influence their children’s reading behavior (unconsciously) by reading a lot of books. Children perceive this as “obviously” desirable behavior and mirror it. Do you like to read, but not (very) often? Then be aware of this. Put away your cell phone or laptop more often and pick up a book.
6) Let The Child Make His/Her Choice of Book
Let the child choose his or her own books at the library or bookstore. If the text matches your child’s interests, they will enjoy reading it more.
7) Books With a Fixed Reading Time
Establishing a set reading time during the weekdays and daytime can help make reading part of your child’s daily routine. Reading a chapter each morning after breakfast, in the afternoon, and before bedtime can help children get their bearings. This way, it becomes a set time in the day, and they are less likely to skip it.
8) Turn It Into A Game
Turn reading a book into a game. For example, take turns reading a sentence or paragraph to each other. Or ask your child, “Shall I read to you sometime? Of course, preferably in a funny voice.
Do you have any other tips? Share it with us in the comments below!