One of the most exciting things about starting school every fall is listening to the enthusiasm and wonder of kindergarten students learning to read. This is a list of five ways to help your student become a successful reader.
- Read aloud with your child daily.
Reading together is a great way to wind down at the end of each day. Take this time to share a variety of reading materials: Bible stories, biographies, fiction. Some nights, a short story is perfect. Sometimes a chapter book allows you the opportunity to meet characters who become old friends and the chance to visit new places. As your reader’s skills improve, take turns reading out loud.
- Choose quality stories.
Children learn how to live through stories, whether those stories are books, TV shows, or movies. Choose wisely. Are the characters speaking with kindness and helpfulness? Do the family members respect each other? Is this language you want used in your home? Does the story provide good moral lessons that reflect Biblical principles? Your child will adopt the attitudes and actions of the characters they watch and read.
- Make literacy a part of daily routines.
Look for literacy in every part of your child’s day. In kindergarten, this may be as simple as looking for the alphabet letters on road signs as you travel and identifying the sounds of letters you see. As students’ reading progresses, reading a recipe or following directions are a great way to make reading relevant. Reading a fiction book is a great way to understand and develop good reading comprehension and imagination.
- Make a Book Wish List.
As your child’s interests grow, make a list of books you want to read together. This list might include books you loved as a child, a book your child heard about in class, or books about a special interest topic. Post your list so that it can be checked off after a book is read and so that books can be added to the list. It is fun to see how many books you read together!
- Provide positive motivation and many opportunities to succeed.
Look for opportunities to brag on their reading to grandparents and friends and to give them an opportunity to “show off” often by reading for others. This is a great way to provide support and demonstrate pride in their accomplishments at whatever level of reading he or she has mastered. Continue to express confidence and enthusiasm about each level of growth.
Children have an amazing ability to learn and grow. Just think of how much they have learned since birth! Take advantage of these glorious days of childhood to share the joy and love of reading in your home.
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