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Tips to help your child advance their reading skills and become a confident reader.
Many parents come to us asking how to improve their child’s reading levels. It is important to remember that all children learn at different rates and need differing levels of support to help them progress with reading fluency and comprehension. Therefore, improving your child’s reading level involves a combination of effective strategies and consistent effort. Below are some tips to help your child advance their reading skills and become a confident reader:
This should be the first port of call. Staying in touch with your child’s teacher can help you understand your child’s progress and any areas that need attention. Collaborating with educators can help tailor the reading experience to your child’s specific needs and how you can support this at home.
Set aside regular time to read with your child. You can take turns reading aloud or read the same book simultaneously. Discuss the story, ask questions, and encourage their understanding of what the book is about.
Offer a wide range of books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading materials that align with your child’s interests. This exposure to diverse content can spark their curiosity and motivate them to read more.
Work with your child to establish achievable reading goals. It could be finishing a certain number of books or reading for a specific amount of time each day. Break larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to maintain their motivation.
Alongside reading together, encourage your child to read independently. Offer age-appropriate books that match their reading level, allowing them to practice their skills without constant guidance.
Support your child to use comprehension strategies such as summarising, making predictions, and asking questions. These techniques help them engage with the text and understand what they are reading. A quick chat with your child’s teacher will let you know which comprehension strategy they are focussing on at school and how you can support this at home. Developing comprehension strategies is an invaluable skill which your child will draw upon as they progress through primary school.
Phonics helps children understand the relationship between letters and sounds. Teach them the sounds of individual letters, letter combinations, and how they blend together to form words. There are many educational resources and books that provide phonics-based activities, so speak with your child’s teacher or an educator who specialises in phonemic awareness to help you choose which resource best supports your child.
Sight words or high frequency words are a set of frequently used words that children should practice and come to recognise automatically. Create your own flashcards, use sight words sent home from school or use online resources to practice these words.
Introduce new words through conversations, books, and word games. Encourage your child to use a dictionary or a vocabulary-building app to look up unfamiliar words. Practice using new words in sentences to reinforce their understanding.
Be patient and supportive during the learning process. Offer assistance when needed, explain unfamiliar words, and encourage them to sound out difficult words. Celebrate their progress to boost their confidence.
Explore interactive reading apps and websites that offer engaging activities, reading games, and levelled books. Some popular options include Epic!, Reading Eggs, and Literacy Planet.
If your child is struggling significantly, you might want to consider hiring a tutor or enrolling them in a specialised reading program. These professionals can provide targeted instruction and personalised support for your child.
Remember, every child learns at their own pace, so it’s essential to provide a supportive environment that celebrates their progress. Be patient and provide continuous praise and encouragement as they work towards improving their reading skills.