Getting elementary kids to read can be challenging. Reading is hard, but they need practice for it to become easy. That takes time. Use these ten elementary reading tips to encourage your children to spend the time and practice it takes for reading to become easy and fun.
Elementary Reading Tips
1. Read at bedtime (stay up later)
Let your kids stay up later. It’s amazing how many reluctant readers turn enthusiastic if they’re allowed to stay up an extra 30 minutes to an hour. However only allow the extra time if the kids are reading. This makes reading a special evening activity.
2. Encourage Picture Books
Early chapter books are written for children just beginning to read. The words are easier. There are very few long demanding words. Picture books, on the other hand, are written for adults to read to children. The words are difficult. There are many demanding words.
If you have a child wanting to read picture books instead of early chapter books, let them read picture books. The books will challenge and develop their reading just as well, if not better, than early chapter books.
3. Reading Days
Set days aside as special reading days. Drop the math for a day. Ignore the writing. Instead curl up with sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows in the living room. Order pizza. Pop popcorn.
Sit and read. Read a great book aloud to your children. Curl up together with each child reading their own book. Listen to audiobooks. Make reading a pleasurable event for the family.
4. Book Days
Once a month my mom would hold book days. Each of us children were assigned a sibling. Mom would take each of us to the bookstore to pick out a book for our sibling sometime during the month.
The last Sunday of the month, after dinner, we would give our books to each other. The rest of the evening was spent reading our new books.
5. Don’t be in a rush
Children take time to grow. We think they should learn to read in a few weeks. Kids should quickly progress from the Bob Books to Frog and Toad to the Narnia series.
Kids don’t progress evenly. Some kids love reading and quickly turn from beginning readers to challenging literature. Other children meander their way to challenging literature. There’s time.
Don’t push your children to progress forward rapidly, instead concentrate on building a love of reading. A love of reading will take your children farther in the long run.
6. Read great books aloud
Beginning books aren’t the most exciting reading material in the world. Take the time to read aloud to your children. Read your favorite childhood classics. Find new books to read aloud. Listen to audiobooks.
Spend time every day reading great books aloud to your children, discussing them, enjoying them. Your children will learn to love great literature.
And you’ll love the extra time with your children that this elementary reading tip gives you!
7. Have your child read aloud to you
Children who only see words in print develop interesting pronunciations for words. For that matter, there are words I know in print but mispronounce if I try to speak them.
Sit down every day to listen to your children read to you, even if your child’s a great reader. You’ll be able to catch mispronunciations and correct them immediately.
8. Introduce nonfiction
While many of us adore fiction, there’s a large segment of children and adults who prefer to read nonfiction. Encourage your children to read nonfiction about their interests and hobbies.
There are wonderful books written about science, history, art, and crafts. Check out some from the library and scatter the books around the house. Chances are your child will curl up to read one or two.
9. Library Days
Take your children to the library every week. Don’t just rush in, grab a few books, and rush out. Spend time wandering the stacks, reading old friends together, and checking out new books.
The time spent in the library allows children to become comfortable in libraries. They’ll want to spend time around books. And they’ll head to the library instinctively whenever they’re looking for a new book to read.
10. Read yourself
Have you ever heard the phrase more is caught than taught? It’s true. children pick up habits from us that we never know we’re teaching. My husband writes. I write. All our children love to write.
When the kids see you curled up in a chair with a good book, it becomes part of their expectations of what adults do. Adults read. Adults enjoy good books. Reading is important.
Make certain you’re setting a good example for your children. Read.
With these ten elementary reading tips, your children will be curled up in chairs reading good books.