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5 Unique Ways to Improve your Child's Reading Skills

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017 15:21 PM

Reading is one of the most important skills students learn in school. No matter what occupation they choose, kids will need to know how to read in order to flourish in their professional and personal lives. It is not always easy for children to learn reading, and some require a little extra practice. Here are some unique ways to help your kids with this important activity:

Encourage drawing

Reading is not just about following words on a page. Comprehension, or understanding what they are reading, is the overarching goal when a teacher assigns a reading task. One way that kids may better benefit from reading is to finish the chapter and then draw what they just read. This may mean sketching out the characters, creating a timeline of events or jotting down the major plot points. This act of regurgitating what they have read can significantly improve the chances that the kids will remember the content they read.

Set reading milestones

Many people benefit from making tasks a competition. Kids in particular love setting and working toward goals - especially if there are sweet rewards upon completion! If your children are not big on reading at home, you can change that with some incentives. Sit down with your kids and decide on reading goals for the week or month. Perhaps you would like your kids to read every day - they may be more willing to follow this practice if they have a chart showing their reading progress. Give your children a star sticker for each reading section or book completed. Then, offer a reward once they hit a major milestone. This in-home reading can greatly improve language skills for the classroom and even improve State Standard scores.

Try different reading materials

Do your kids claim they hate reading? They just haven't found something that interests them yet! There are so many incredible books out there on millions of subjects; they are sure to find at least one they like! Head to the local library and enlist the assistance of a librarian. Work with him or her to find reading materials on subjects your kids like. That may mean archeological books on dinosaurs or young adult mystery novels. And don't discount non-book options like magazines or even articles and blogs on the internet. Whatever your children end up checking out and bringing home should be slightly above their reading level to encourage learning new words, and using context clues.

Have a discussion

Book clubs meet for a very special reason: to talk about their reading. Kids can gain major insight into what they are reading by retelling the story and discussing it with others. Families can read together and follow each chapter or book with some questions. Ask what your child thinks a certain character eats for breakfast or what the main protagonist would do in a made-up situation. You can facilitate a much deeper learning experience by talking about the book instead of just having your child read. Plus, it is fun to use your imagination.