It’s no secret that reading is a critical skill in order to achieve success in many aspects of life. Reading also plays an integral role in each child’s intellectual, emotional, and social development. As a parent, it’s important to encourage a love and aptitude for reading at home. However, helping children develop and improve their reading skills can be challenging. Kids may become frustrated as they encounter unfamiliar words, difficult phrasing, and long text. 

You may be wondering what you can do to help improve your child’s reading skills. Take a look at these eight key tips to help your child become a better reader at any age or reading level! 

Create a regular reading routine at home

Routines provide a sense of comfort and familiarity for children. When reading is part of each day, it can help your child become more comfortable until reading becomes second nature. Set aside a time each day to read together. Choose a storybook that is of interest to both of you, or children to choose a book themselves. It may be helpful to have your child practice reading aloud before settling in quietly together, especially if it’s your first time reading this book together. 

Encourage daily reading at home

Reading should be encouraged every day, whether it’s a quiet activity you and your child share, or part of a fun family night. Ask kids what kinds of books they might enjoy, and find a time when everyone is available to read. Create a plan that works for everyone in your family in order to make the most out of this enjoyable time.

Ask your child questions about the story

Asking engaging questions is an excellent way to help improve reading comprehension. If you’re reading a story your child has read before, find out the level of familiarity. Ask children if they found any parts of the story unclear or confusing, and how much they remember from last time. Discuss why particular details were included in the story, and talk about how certain characters might be feeling based on their expressions, actions, or dialogue. 

Fill your home with books

Surrounding your child with books and other reading materials can significantly help encourage daily reading habits. Make sure your home is filled with a wide array of reading materials. Make children’s books easily accessible in your living room, play room, your child’s bedroom, and even in your car. 

Make use of technology

If you want to improve your child’s reading skills, technology is another great tool that can help. If children enjoy going online on a mobile device or a computer, you can help them make their screen time productive by encouraging them to read ebooks and other enjoyable digital text on these platforms. 

Encourage children to find books they love

Take children to the library or your local bookstore, and encourage them to find books they will enjoy reading. For example, if kids are fascinated by fairytales, bring them to the section where they can browse these types of titles. If they are interested in animals or planets, head to those sections and see what catches their eye. Once they find a book they enjoy, let them read as much as they want! 

Model reading aloud

For some kids, reading out loud takes a little bit of practice before they are comfortable. You can try reading your child’s favorite bedtime story in front of the mirror or acting out the plot of a story. Doing this can help your child feel more confident when it’s their turn to read out loud in school or elsewhere. 

Celebrate progress

All children develop at their own pace. Celebrate children’s accomplishments by recognizing how far they’ve come. Acknowledge any improvements you observe with each passing day. Recognize children’s progress, no matter how big or small. The more they are encouraged, the more they will continue to improve.

Parents can make a difference when it comes to enriching the development of their children’s reading ability. If your little one struggles with reading, these eight tips to help improve reading skills is the best place to start.

The Early Childhood University is so much more than child care.  We believe that every child should have access to a high quality education. We offer a world-class curriculum that prepares children for success in school and beyond. Contact us to learn more.