The best way to improve children's reading skills is to read to
them on a regular basis. Children that are read to regularly develop reading skills easier than children that
are not read to.
Statistics show that many of us are not reading to our children as
often as we could. Reading to children everyday assists children to develop pre-reading and pre-writing skills.
Children that start school without pre-reading and pre-writing skills are at risk of school failure, and
children that experience early failure rarely catch up.
According to a Parent Report of Reading to Young Children
published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) journal,
Approximately 50% of children aged 4 to 35 months are read to
Approximately 30% are read to 3 to 6 times a week
Approximately 15% are read to 1 to 2 times a week
Approximately 6% of children are never read to
Approximately 21% of children have 10 or fewer children’s books in the
home 2% report having no children’s books at
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Guidelines to Health
Supervision III ask pediatric providers to encourage parents to read to their children from 6 months of age onward,
and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Bright Futures Guidelines from 2 months of age.
Reading to children provides many benefits. Reading:
– Stimulates children's imagination – Promotes language development, both speaking and listening – Increases knowledge – Increases children's awareness of the world around them – Fosters reading skills – Prepares children for academic success – Motivates children to love literature – Promotes a love of learning
Keep reading to your child every day, even when they can read well
independently. Children's comprehension skills are more developed than their reading skills, so they enjoy stories
that may be a little challenging to read by themselves.
For parents who are not confident readers, your child will not
mind how well you read, they will enjoy the time spent with you and will learn more about the world.
Encourage a happy reading environment for children. You could
create a special reading place, a comfortable chair with good lighting and soft cushions. Physical closeness is
also important, snuggling up together somewhere warm and comfortable to read will be a very pleasurable experience
for you and your child.
Take your time and enjoy reading together
Read through the book yourself before reading it with your child,
practice using intonation in your voice or adding sound effects. Try introducing character voices, but don't overdo
it. Choose a character voice you will be able to maintain till the end of the book and then every time you re-read
Take your time when reading with your children, don't just rush
through the words while you are actually thinking about something else. Concentrate on what is happening in the
story so that you can match your tone of voice to the story line.
Discuss the pictures as you read,
encourage your child to ask questions and talk about the story. Ask them to think about what might happen next
in the story.
Borrow books or buy quality books cheaply
Your local library will have a fantastic range of literature for your child. The librarian will be a great source
of knowledge, be sure to introduce yourself and talk about your child's current reading level and interests. The
librarian will be able to assist you to select a range of books that will be suitable for your
The other good thing about joining the local library is that your child will receive a library card. They can be
responsible for looking after the card and for ensuring that the books are kept safe and returned. I suggest making
a personalised library bag for your child. If you always place the borrowed books back in the library bag, they
will be easily located and protected. Being responsible for the library card and books builds children's confidence
and develops a healthy self esteem.
Many second hand shops have a range of books that are reasonably priced. Another option is to attend a book
exchange store and recycle books your child is no longer interested in.
Encourage family and friends to give your child books for birthdays and Christmas presents.
Another way to access books for children is to download them electronically. There are many free books available
online, and ebooks are often cheaper than purchasing books in hard cover. Some digital books have text that is
narrated, so if children are in the car with you they can have stories read to them while you are
Reading to children every day improves academic outcomes
The most important aspect of education is learning to reading. First children learn to read, then they read to
It is very important for your child to be able to read well to achieve academically.
Reading aloud to your children each day will not only develop good reading habits, the characters in the stories
will become like old family friends. Children will develop a love of literature.
Make the effort to sit down with your children and read on a daily basis. It will be
an investment in time that will definitely pay off in the long run. You will develop a closer relationship with
your child and they will be learning and developing reading skills that will assist them with their academic
development for many years to come.
Teach children to love reading
A lot of children today are missing out
on the joy of reading and are therefore not getting the learning the comes from reading about different people in
other parts of the world. Many families rely on watching the television to gain information or
downloading an App to keep children entertained.
Many parents are not role modeling good reading habits. As
parents, our fundamental duty is to prepare our children for the road ahead, for our children to grow into
successful and caring adults. Seeing you reading will be a far better motivator to encourage your child to
read than simply telling children to read.
Families that read together form close
bonds. They share experiences, fun and laughter. Books help families communicate more effectively and reading
together provides many topics for thought provoking conversation.
As a parent, you can motivate your child to
want to learn in a way that one else can.Families can develop
relationships with characters within their favourite books and use these stories to promote learning in other