Many kids struggle when they first begin reading, and for various reasons. Some have trouble concentrating, some have issues with comprehension, and others have issues with fluency. There are many different ways to learn when it comes to reading, but for many young people, the feeling that they are failing makes it even more frustrating a task.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can help your young reader be more successful and find the joy in reading, especially if it’s become something they dread doing. The key is to help him find books he’s excited about, so take a trip to the library together and look for topics he’s interested in. It will also be helpful to find different ways for him to work on his reading skills other than physical books, such as magazines, E-readers, and comic books.
Here are some of the best ways you can help your child be a better reader.
Ask for help
Your child may be reluctant to ask for help, so you can do it for him. Hiring a tutor is a great way to help him flourish, in part because sometimes having the help of a third party can reduce frustration and attitude when things aren’t going his way. A tutor may also have different ways to make reading fun, which can be alluring to a child who feels like reading is a chore.
Focus on his strengths
Because there are so many different parts to reading–phonics, fluency, comprehension, etc.–it’s important to single out the areas your child needs to work on and play up his strengths in the other sections. This may take the expertise of a professional educator, but once you narrow down the issues, it will be easier to work on the things that are holding him back.
Let him read what he loves
Within reason, of course. However, don’t discourage him if he only wants to read about cars or astronauts. Go to the library together and find every book you can about that topic and encourage him to do independent research online, if he wants. When something doesn’t come easily to a child, it’s hard for them to really get into it or want to do it. Finding books he enjoys reading will greatly increase the likelihood that he’ll want to continue.
Apply real-world situations
Writing and reading go hand-in-hand, so encourage your child to write a letter to his favorite celebrity, or just to a favorite family member, and ask them to write back. Everyone loves to get mail, and when your child sees what can come of his hard work, he’ll be that much more eager to do it again.
Find different mediums
Books are wonderful tools, but they aren’t the only things your child can read. Look for interesting magazines, comics, graphic novels, and short stories on an E-reader that your little one can get into, and encourage him to find more.
Do it with him
One of the best ways to help your child get into reading is to do it with him. Start a routine of reading one book together before bed, or have a family story night where one family member reads aloud. Not only will this help foster a love of books in your child, it will also help your family bond a little bit more.
Remember to stay patient with your child, especially if he’s hard on himself. Kids can become frustrated very easily when they feel they aren’t doing something right, so let him know how proud you are of him for continuing and be his biggest cheerleader.