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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


How to Improve Your Child's Reading

By Andrew Loh

Improving your child's reading habits is a lengthy effort, because it is progressive and gradual, as the brain developmental stages undergo several transformations, before it is ready to comprehend the basic meaning of words and sentences. Here are some of the well-known tips and suggestions to help your children develop reading habits.

Read loud

Reading loud has many benefits. Make sure that you allow your children read in a loud voice whatever they are reading. Reading loud will help them train their tongue to form proper intonations and movements. Children may need to read loud for at least 15 minutes every day to streamline the entire reading exercise.

Create time to discuss what children read

Once your children finish reading, let them explain in very simple words the meaning of the passage or page read by them. This simple exercise is an effective way to teach how to talk in front of others. It will also help them learn how they can improve their language skills.

Include action and animation during reading

Insist on animated actions while your children are reading from a book. This will help them learn how to speak in a passionate way in front of others. People like others who talk with passion and from the deep of their heart. Animated talking or conversing is always better and effective than dumb and listless talk. Great orators and speakers of the past have been great readers of books, magazines and journals.

Change reading materials often

Children love reading storybook. However, make sure that you keep changing the reading materials now and then. A change in reading style and schedule will help your children develop understanding printed words in a much more fluid way. You can create a weekly calendar for different reading materials. You can ask them to read a picture storybook on two or three days. For the balance three days, you can ask them to read non-story books, say textbooks or classroom materials.

Play games based on the books they are reading

Children simply love reading storybook that contains lots of color images and illustrations. Some of the books may contain stories with lot of action. You may ask your children to role-play with you once they finish reading their books. Let the role-play be based on the story printed in the book.

Bring home lots of books and reading materials

Give your children an opportunity to read books from diverse fields. Books may relate to science, technology, story, folklore, history, geography or even poetry and rhymes. Early readers may like simple books on animals, plants, cartoon characters and fairy creatures. Some children also like audio books where experts read out passages of famous stories. Once your children finish listening to the audio story, you can ask them to explain you the summary of story that they heard.

Take your children to a local library

Reading habits will become a reality when they develop a taste for the activity. When you take your children to a library, they will search for the books of their choice and start reading them.

Use different methods for elder children

Elder children need different methods and approaches. Most of them may already know the importance of reading. In fact, they read their lessons and projects those are assigned by the teachers. However, they still need constant encouragement and nurturing to fine-tune the secrets of reading. What they need more are extended oral discussion sessions with other children. One simple technique is to pool two or three children and ask them to discuss about the things they read from one of the books. The entire exercise should be repeated in a loud voice and with a hint of an animated action.

Parents may also need to use role-playing games that involve reading. Scrabble and word puzzles are age-appropriate and are potent tools to help learn reading skills. Once children form a sentence or word, they should pronounce it in a loud voice. This will help them learn speaking and intonation skills apart from fine-tuning the art of forming words and sentences by using different letters.

Reading skills are only possible to attain when children acquire them with consistent practice and dedicated effort. You will need to assign a fixed time schedule to allow your children acquire reading skills. Reading is a great activity that has the ability to make children smart and intelligent. By developing this habit, your children will also expose themselves to the big world of knowledge, literature and practical skills.

Do you want to learn more? Here are some recommended resources.

Featured Resource

The Art of Teaching Reading
By Lucy McCormick Calkins, Ph.D

In The Art of Teaching Reading, nationally acclaimed educator Lucy Calkins offers a compelling glimpse into the methods, insights and day-to-day classroom practices, which have helped hundreds of teachers, do more in the teaching of reading than most dreamt possible.

This book covers:

  • Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators

  • Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice

  • This is the story of brilliant teachers whose children learn to read with eagerness and to talk and write in stunning ways about their reading


Featured Resource


Child Development

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