Simple Reading Practice Tips to Boost Your Child's Reading Skills

By Huntington Learning Center

Have you ever wondered about methods of reading practice for kids that can boost your child’s reading skills and academic success? Sometimes the challenges of a struggling reader can feel overwhelming and it is difficult to know where to start to help your child succeed. The good news is that boosting reading skills isn’t impossible and you are fully equipped as a parent to help improve your child’s learning with targeted reading opportunities that extend to all subject areas.

Consider these helpful methods of reading practice for kids that support your struggling reader:

    • Read every day You can never underestimate the power of simply reading to or with your child. The time spent in books is beneficial and magical and will help to unlock untapped reading potential. Not only are you exposing your child to a world of reading you are modeling that reading is both useful and enjoyable.
    • Think outside the book Reading practice shouldn’t be limited to books. Think about what your child enjoys most and find a variety of materials to support these interests. Consider magazines, manuals, brochures, or online reading. Using magnet letters or letter cards with emerging readers is  also a great way to practice reading without using books. 
    • Understand expectations As a parent it is important to stay up to date on current grade level expectations for your child. Knowing what the mastery standards are can help you gauge your child’s progress. Comparing your child’s skills to the grade level and developmental expectations will provide information on your child’s strengths and areas of necessary growth.  
    • Utilize all possible resources If your child is struggling it is important to utilize every resource available to you. Investing in targeted reading tutoring can help your child gain the necessary skills for success and an online reading program can build skills while providing an interactive learning environment. Talk with your child’s teacher about what is available and what would best match your child’s ; needs. 
    • Boost vocabulary As children become better readers they are confronted with more complex topics, plots, and vocabulary. Understanding increasingly difficult vocabulary is vital for reading success. Teach your child to identify unfamiliar words and find ways to search for meaning. Encourage the use of context clues around the word or work as a team to look it up in a dictionary to find the meaning.  
    • Picture it Good readers, regardless of age, picture the story in their minds. These “mind movies” should play along as each word is read. Many struggling students fail to visualize the story and errantly miss important information. You can easily practice this strategy with your child by reading a passage aloud and then discussing the scenes you formed in your mind. If your child is unable to visualize the passage you can reread and prompt him with questions to elicit more information. 
    • Emphasize a book’s structure Every genre has a different layout and different text features to support the organization. For example, reference books utilize headings, subheadings, table of contents, glossaries and appendices while novels have chapters, dedications, and occasional illustrations. A child should understand the text features and how they work together for an intended purpose. This is especially beneficial to success in other subject areas that utilize content specific reading. 
  • Talk about books Reading with your child is important but talking with your child about books is just as powerful. Your child will benefit from viewing you as a reader and someone who learns from books. Take time each day to ask your children about what they are reading, discuss a library book you checked out as a family, or share something you learned from your own reading. 

These are just a few tips to help improve a child’s reading ability. What are some other ways to engage in reading practice for kids?


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