5 ways to enhance your child's reading skills in early years

Reading is an incredibly important part of a child's emotional and intellectual development. Developing reading skills is a foundation that will support a child throughout his or her academic career. Children who have developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are more likely to excel in their academic performance. It is therefore said that reading is one of the most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life.

Learning to read is a process. Children always need help and encouragement to get better at reading. Adults may embrace the following few techniques to enhance their child's reading skills:

  1. Establish a regular reading routine: Setting aside time to read to and with one's child can substantially increase their reading abilities in areas like reading comprehension, vocabulary skills, recognizing words and learning to sound out unfamiliar words. Simply incorporating a daily story time routine into a child's schedule will instil the importance of reading that they will hopefully continue to appreciate as they learn to read on their own. 

  1. Encourage to read on a regular basis: The very effective way to encourage a child to read regularly is by making books available everywhere in the house. Luring one's child into stories by placing books on shelves or in baskets throughout the room will signal them that reading is important and accessible. Another way to encourage a child into reading is through leading by example. Parents are the ultimate role-models for their children and they are most likely to emulate the behaviour that of the parents. Reading for pleasure is a wonderful habit that parents should engage in so as to teach children that reading is about enjoying and not mere learning. 

  1. Help a child reader to find books that they love: Adults should try exposing their child to as many different stories as possible. Finding the right genre or type of story could be the key to spark a child's interest in reading. The more a child is interested in the subject matter inside of a book, the more excited he would be to read it. Mysteries, science fiction, and adventure stories are particularly popular with young boys and girls that give flight to their imaginations.

  1. Use reading examples outside of books: Not all reluctant child readers can be encouraged to read books. Therefore, a parent might need to resort to more creative and tricky ways so their child continues to read. Some of the ways that parents can try to encourage one's child to improve and utilize their reading skills are:

  1. If a child wants to go to a movie, the parent might ask him/ her to look up the schedule in the newspaper. 

  2. If a child wants to eat a specific dish, the parent may ask for his/her assistance by letting him/her to read out the recipe from a cookbook. 

  3. Encourage the child to read road signs, weather reports, store names, food menus, game directions, emails/ text messages from other family members or any other practical everyday information.  

  1. Always stay involved in child's reading education: It is imperative for us as adults to always stay involved and monitor the child's progress on a regular basis before any potential reading issues come to surface. The parent should try to notice if the child struggles to recognize or sound out words. Parents and teacher should collectively work together to identify learning gaps and make improvements.

    Praising can also be an essential motivating factor that can build a child's self-esteem for working hard at reading. It might also develop a lasting love for reading in them. Incorporating reading into activities that the child loves and showing them the ways in which reading is integral to their everyday life will encourage them to continue to improve their skills, even if it does not help them to enjoy reading books.