Having a child who can read independently may seem like an exciting milestone, but what many parents don’t realize is the parental involvement that is required in order for your child to progress from slowly sounding out words, to full reading comprehension.
It takes a great deal of patience to work through the sounds of each letter, and the meaning of each word, but going through the process together with your child can be rewarding too, it just may take a little creativity to make it an enjoyable process.
January 27th is National Family Literacy Day, an awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada to encourage and emphasize the importance of reading as a family. According to ABC Life Literacy, “taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.”
To help make the learning process a little easier for your little ones (and a little less frustrating for the parents too), we’ve come up with a few ways to make learning to read fun.
Cook together. Bake some cookies together and let your little learner read the recipe to you out loud. This is a great way to learn and practice new words, and you can work together to create a delicious reward for your efforts – freshly-baked goodies!
Play Scrabble. Make spelling fun with an interactive game of Scrabble. Using a tactile letters game is a great way to help children learn and remember how to spell words, and doing so with a board game is a great way to put some fun into it.
Read together aloud. Instead of sitting your child down to read alone at the table, pick a book that you will enjoy reading together, and take turns reading each page. This way, your child will learn to process the meaning behind the words too.
Set an example. If you make reading a regular part of your family’s every day routine, it will be easier for your children to pick it up. If they see you reading regularly, they’re more likely to follow suit.
Join the Summer Reading Club. Challenge your child to participate in BC’s annual Summer Reading Club – a free literacy program offered in most libraries across the province, designed to encourage school-aged children to read during the summer months. Children are awarded prizes such as stickers, bookmarks, and small toys for reaching certain reading milestones, and if they complete the full challenge, they receive a metal for their hard work.
Let your children choose books that interest them, block out some time each day, and practice patience. Encourage your kids to enjoy reading, and the process will be a lot more fun for all parties involved.