What do good readers do?
Here are 5 reading strategies for children that can help them become better readers.
Ask Questions: Have children come up with questions about the book, direct them away from the questions about minor details and have them focus on questions about the meaning or lessons learned in the book. This helps nurture active learning.
Find Connections: Have them relate a character in the book to themselves or someone else they know. Do they connect in different or similar ways? This will help them understand the text from a new perspective and encourages deeper thought.
Visualize: Have children imagine or draw what a character looks like. Have them verbally explain what a setting looks like, where the character lives or calls home. Many students think visually while others have difficulty, so this can be helpful for both types of learners.
Predict: Have them predict what they think will happen next. Then ask why. This helps encourage active reading and helps them stay interested in the book. This can also help signal a misunderstanding of the book that needs revisiting.
Summarize: Having them retell the story can challenge their retention. Summarization allows students to differentiate between main thoughts and minor details. After finishing a chapter or section, have them retell what they just read and then write down a brief summarization. You will be so proud of them!
How can you as a parent/guardian help your child with reading?
Establish a routine at home for reading:
It could be before bed, on a Sunday night or whenever suits you and your child. You could even have a regular reading night where the whole family gets together and reads. This is one of the best ways for developing a lifelong positive attitude to reading.
Praise every effort:
Especially when confidence is low, and even when confidence is high. Help your child feel good about reading.
Treat the child as an individual:
Don't compare their performance with other children - it doesn't help because it makes them feel as though they are not good enough.
Be a role model:
Let them see you reading. Take the family to the local library and take an interest in what types of books they borrow. You can even make suggestions, but resist the temptation to impose your own choices.
Show them that books are worthwhile:
Give books as presents and show your child how to take care of them.
Encourage consistent use of the school library:
Ask your child about the books they have borrowed and share them with your child.
If your child is a non reader, don't feel guilty:
The causes of reading problems are very complex and if your child is experiencing difficulties with this fundamental skill, the best thing you can do is to acknowledge the problem and do something about it.
This information has been sourced from the book "Parents, Teachers, Partners" by Barry Dwyer.