Very often your child is required to read and log as part of nightly homework. Often parents suggest their child read independently for the allotted amount of time and then they’ll sign the reading journal or reading log afterwards. When your child struggles with reading and is reluctant or resistant to engage, a parent may find themself prompting their child repeatedly to do this work and just get it over with. But your child may strongly dislike this ritual, thus isn’t benefitting from it or developing enhanced reading skills. And perhaps it’s making reading a dreadful or punitive experience.
Parents have the power to create an enriching reading experience for their child at home by incorporating some very simple strategies and routines, thus making the reading experience at home more fun!
First, don’t fret when your child asks you to read the same book night after night. Repeated readings actually improve fluency. Even if a you realize that your child is relying on memory to read the same book over and over, they are actually practicing their reading voice. You can model your reading voice, so that your child can learn to read with better expression and practice fluency at the very same time.
Another strategy for making reading at home fun and exciting is to use audio books, especially if you’re challenged to find the time to read with your child. You can easily purchase audio books or find them through your local library. While your child is listening to the story, they should follow along in the printed book. The audio book strategy helps your child to learn new words and hear fluent reading.
Quite often your child finds reading frustrating because they have difficulty reading many words on the page. Page previews help your child by browsing through the pictures in the book to identify unfamiliar words before they begin reading it from start to finish.
Making a private and comfortable space for your child to read, such as a reader’s den, will encourage your child to enjoy reading, too. A good idea is to put a nice and comfy beanbag chair, small lamp, and bookshelf in this den so that reading is considered a satisfying and relaxing experience. Perhaps, you can also paint or purchase a sticker decal that labels the area, such as “Sarah’s or Joe’s Reading Den.”
These simple strategies should definitely help with making reading at home more fun and successful!
By Brittany Cogan, Learning Specialist