5 tips for improving your child’s reading skills

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Child_girlreadingbookDuring a child’s first five years of life, she is starting to explore books and to learn about writing and reading. From grades one to three, a great majority of a child’s time at school is spent learning to read. From grade four and onward a child is using her reading skills and is reading to learn.  These reading skills are the cornerstone of a child’s success in school.

In the spirit of Family Literacy Day on January 27th, our child development experts at Children’s Support Solutions have weighed in on how you can help your child improve their reading skills. Learn about easy habits to implement at home, various reading activities, and what to look for if you suspect your child could use extra support.

Here are a few ways parents can help improve their child’s reading skills this winter

  1. Guessing games: Play ‘guess my word’ to practice blending sounds in words. Space out the sounds in the words (i.e. c- a- t) and have your child blend them together and guess your word – “cat!” Blending sounds together to make a word is how we decode words while we read. This skill is one of the best predictors of reading success in early readers.
  2. Explore the books you read – go off script! Don’t just read the words of the story, but interact with your child while reading. Point out what is happening in the pictures, guess what is going to happen next, ask how the characters feel or explore why they are doing what they are doing. This will increase your child’s story comprehension and can lead to great conversations with your young child.
  3. Reading and your daily routine: Did you know that everyday errands are great opportunities to develop reading skills? Reading packages, signs and logos with your child helps them learn that symbols have meaning. For example, point out signs on your way to the grocery store. Then while shopping, ask your child to help you find the items on the shelf by looking at the names and logos.
  4. Reading together: Read with your child and, depending on their age, take turns reading pages, sections or chapters of a book. With older children, you and your child can silently reading the same book. Most children really want to spend time with their parents, but once children reach seven or eight years old, many parents don’t view reading together as an option; they think that’s reserved for preschool or early elementary school days.
  5. Write, write, and write! Ask your child to help you write out the grocery list, a thank you note to Grandma, or to keep a journal of special things that happen at home. When writing, encourage your child to use the letter and sound patterns he is learning at school.

Incorporate all five of these strategies at home to boost your child’s learning skills today and help them become a better reader tomorrow.

If you are concerned that your child may have difficulty learning to read, here are some steps you can take:

  • Be aware of how your child is doing, especially compared to other children her age.
  • Keep an eye on how your child is progressing and talk about your concerns with her teacher.
  • Trust your intuition! You know your child best. If you suspect a problem, speak with your child’s teacher and do not be afraid to have her evaluated right away.
  • We understand you want fast access to information and services. To get started, complete our contact form: http://childrensupportsolutions.com/get-help-now/

Have questions about your child’s language development? Our speech language pathologists and special educators can help.

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We understand you want fast access to information and services. To get started, complete our Request More Information form online here or call 1.866.653.2397. One of our friendly team members will be happy to help you.

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