WELCOME BACK to Part 2 of the Help, I Have to Read to my Child! series! If you missed out on Part 1, click here.
You’ve done so well faithfully reading to your “young readers” these past few weeks! I trust you’ve been making some wonderful memories together!
In speaking with a few of my readers, it’s come to my attention that some of your children would prefer to let YOU do all of the reading, rather than try reading themselves. Haha, of course, they would!
This is quite normal – it’s always more “fun” to let mommy and daddy do all of the hard work! And to be honest, it’s often easier for mommy and daddy to just comply. Teaching our kids to be strong readers is hard work! It takes a lot of patience and perseverance!
But don’t give up! The goal isn’t just silence―the goal is to empower your young readers to read independently and confidently for the rest of their lives.
So, HOW can we help them become Independent Readers?
Here are some Tips and Tricks that I’ve used with my children.
(Remember, we’ve already worked through Part 1 and they have a good grasp on letters, sounds, and some of the basic whole words. I recommend that you work through these suggestions gradually. When #1 becomes easy, move on to #2.)
- Have your child read the first sentence on each page. You read the rest.
- Have them read a whole paragraph on each page. You read the rest.
- Ask them to choose one particular character in the book and have them read all of the words spoken by that character. You read the rest. I have such vivid memories of doing this with my oldest boy, Joshua. He was seriously lagging as a reader. So, we chose the book “The Horse and His Boy” from the Narnia Series. Joshua was Shasta, and he read everything that Shasta said. It was brilliant! We got lost in the adventure and his reading improved quickly.
- Have them read everything that character says, PLUS the rest of that particular paragraph. You read the rest. By about halfway through the book, Joshua’s reading had so improved that he didn’t even flinch when I asked him to finish the rest of Shasta’s paragraphs. It was a natural progression.
- Eventually, have them read one whole side of the book. For example, you read the left-hand page, they read the right-hand page. Before you know it, they will be reading ahead of you because they can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen in the story. That’s perfect! You want them to get lost in the adventure!
More Tips & Tricks
- Have them read EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. Menus in restaurants, cereal boxes at breakfast, recipes while you’re cooking, junk mail, newspaper headlines, store signs, street signs. Anything goes.
- Send them Private Messages. We live in an age of incredible technology—why not use it to your advantage? Set them up with a private email address and send them an email (be sure to keep their username and password so you can check up on them). They’ll be thrilled! Encourage family members also to send them an email, and then have your child reply with a letter of their own.
- Or, to increase the “special memory” factor, you can even send them a letter in the post (yes, with real paper and stamps :).
REMEMBER ~ Encourage them regularly to FOLLOW THE WORDS that you are reading, rather than just daydreaming. Use your finger to point to the words if you need to. Doing this really helps with word recognition, improved concentration, and endurance!
However, always be sure to Follow Their Lead. They’re not adults yet. If they happen to get tired and discouraged by the effort it takes to read out loud, give them a break and just read the story for a while.
Well, hopefully, this will give you some more fresh ideas for your reading times together! Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Help! I Have to Read to my Child! series where we’ll be discussing
“HOW to MOTIVATE your kids to read”… coming soon!
- It’s your turn… What Tips and Tricks have YOU used to encourage kids to become strong readers?