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Mike Riehls

Encourage child's reading habits early


May 16, 2013
Q. What can parents do to encourage children to read more and improve their skills as they get older?

A. Reading comprehension skills are crucial to academic achievement. Children will be expected to read vast amounts during their academic careers and will need to continue to develop this skill from their early school years and further. Reading for pleasure is also important for children. Reading fiction helps students develop healthy imaginations which encourage dynamic thinking and problem solving.


Parents can have a huge impact on their children’s progress in reading and here are some tips for parents who wish to instill a love of reading in their children:

Read aloud daily to your child when they are young to help them form a positive view of books and reading. Children should read some of the words with you as they become familiar with the routine. Parents should begin having their children read more words, then sentences and then pages as the children gain confidence and competence.

Point to the words as you read so children get used to the way words look. This will make words easier for them to recognize.

Ask your child to tell you the story in their own words to develop reading comprehension.

Keep your children engaged in the reading activity. Ask them about the characters in the story and what they think of their actions and what they think will happen next.

Reading should include all types of materials, age appropriate — fiction, academic, magazines, comics, etc. It is important to encourage reading and sometimes finding the right medium for a particular child can be challenging. Books and other reading materials as gifts for birthdays and the holidays are a wonderful way to promote lifelong reading.

Incorporate reading into daily activities. This will help your child recognize the importance of being able to read to do daily tasks.

For example, children can read the weather report in the newspaper, recipes as they help prepare a meal, printed map instructions while you drive or researching a topic on the internet.

Foster a positive attitude. Often children get frustrated when reading. Encourage your child and be patient. If necessary, take a short break. Certainly do not let your frustration show as that makes children feel nervous and apprehensive.

Enjoy reading with your child. It is a great way to spend precious time with your child while developing a critical skill in your young one.

For more information on reading skills and programs, contact Richman at Tutor Doctor of Metro Detroit at (313) 899-0937.

The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

To volunteer, contribute or ask a question visit familycenterweb.org, call (313) 432-3832.


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