Tips for helping children to read
The following are tips that I have gained through my years of experience as well as academic research. I will be updating this page as I research more.
1. Reading is a learned skill. It is similar to riding a bike. Some will catch on very quick while others may struggle. By identifying the areas of weakness in our young readers we can better plan a course of action to work with them on skills that they need assistance on. Examples of weaknesses are blending, rhyming, noticing of punctuation marks, omission of words, and so forth. It is very important to listen as your child reads and take note of mistakes being made.
2. Exposure to reading will help in the acquistion of the skill. By simply reading to your child and showing enthusiasm for reading will greatly inspire your child to want to read. I recommend that you spend roughly 15-20 minutes daily at least reading a book. During this time help your child learn words they may not know, introduce them to new words, define words that may lack understanding. Also, ask comprehension questions about the story. It is one thing to be able to read the words on the page but it is equally if not more important that the child grasps what they are reading.
3. This tip is similar to the prior one. Help with homework. By working with your child they have a better chance of grasping the skills needed to be a successful reader.
4. Build on words. Teaching word sounds, consonant blends (fl,gr,bl,br,ch,sh,th,etc), teach the long vowl families (ee,oa,ay,etc.). Do this by using words that can be visualized or through the use of flash cards, or external workbooks like the hooked on phonics series.
5. Don’t rely whole heartedly on technology. The attention span of a child is fairly short compared to that of adults. A child when lacking attention will do whatever they need to do in order to end a task that is of no interest. Combine both level appropriate technology with non-technology tasks and most importantly KEEP IT FUN!!