Help Your Child Learn to Read

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” ~ Frank Serafini

Before you question your child’s reading skills, ask yourself this – "Do I know how to read?" Or to put it more precisely, "Do I know how to read to kids? " Recent findings suggest that often, the way we read to them has a lot to do with how well our kids read. Think about it from a child’s perspective. If you make reading to her seem like a chore, she will grow up to believe it indeed is that. On the other hand, if you display enthusiasm and love for reading, she will begin to consider it a fun activity and would be itching to grow up and start reading. Just like some little girls see makeup or boys think about shaving!

"Book Sale" by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are a number of things that you can do to help better your child's reading skills. The underlying factor, though, is fun. Whatever method you may choose to adopt, it has to be a fun one for the kids to actually benefit from it.

Here are 3 top ways to help your kids learn to read better:

* Harry Potter Can Help - Believe it or not, Harry Potter is a great reading teacher. And so are Tom Sawyer, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and the like. Before one can get a kid to read well, it is important to first get him to find reading fun. If your child has a favorite among the stories to read out to her, that should be one of the first books that she learns to read. The fact that she already knows the story and finds it interesting will urge her to rediscover it through her own reading skills. A beloved story read on one's own gives a feeling of achievement and joy, cementing a love for reading. If she wants, let your child read the same story again and again to help her hone her reading skills.

* Story Night Every Night - Make a pact with your kids to make every night a story night and watch her reading skills go from zero to hero in no time! Taking out 15 minutes every night to either read to your kids or have them read to you is one of the best things you can do to help them read better . You can read to them on every alternate day and have them read to you on other days to make the story night an engaging ritual. Don't limit yourself to text books, surprise them with different kinds of stories you know they would enjoy. Also, encourage questions. If your kids ask you anything about a particular character (how does she look, why did he go there, etc.), answer the best way you can, never mind if the story makes no mention of it. When a child is asking questions, it is a sign that she is involved in the story. A snub here can take all the charm away from reading while the opposite of that will entice her to start reading on her own, as soon as possible.

* Style Check - When we buy a book or download one online for kids who are just beginning to read, we look at the prescribed age mentioned. If it targets the age group our kids fall under, looks interesting, and has pretty pictures, we are sold on it. Rarely, if at all, do we consider the font used. This is one of the biggest and yet the most common blunders we make when introducing kids to reading. While the calligraphic font may look grand and be reminiscent of an era befitting princes and princesses, it completely hinders your kids’ reading skills. How can you expect them to read well when they can't even recognize the letters? Stick to simple, plain, and bigger fonts till your kids are expert readers.

Reading is fun and if done the right way, it can help kids in more ways than one. Pick up your favorite 'learn to read' tips and get cracking today!

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