Hearing a child reads with pleasure is a very rewarding experience a parent could enjoy. Here are some steps how you could improve the way you hear your child read.
- As reading is an acquired skill, it is important that we must always build a child’s confidence and interest when we encourage him/her to read. This will result a life long love for reading.
- The Golden Rule for hearing a child read is to tell him/her the word he/she does not know, and the moment you feel you are tensing up, just switch over to you reading to the child for the next few pages until you feel a bit more relaxed.
- By doing so, your child is learning to be confident that you will always tell him/her a word which he/she does not know, and can trust that reading with you will be a pleasurable experience.
Create a routine and the right ambience
- Set a specific time and place where your child and you bond in looking through reading material.
- Allow him/her to choose material that interests him/her.
- Visiting a library together regularly is great to create a routine where your child could borrow and return books together.
- Focus on giving your child full attention during the reading time. Try to read a book at the study room or bed room without the distraction of the television.
- Do allow your younger child to sit on your lap or beside you.
Be a role model
- As different child has different level of reading skills, we need to hear them read with different reading instructional strategies. Parents are usually a role model. Begin reading the book for your child. You may read the title of the book, the author’s name and illustrator’s name. Encourage your child to talk about the picture he/she see on it.
Repetition and Practice make Perfect
- Allow your child to go over the same book on different evenings. As both of you go over the same story, do discuss and encourage your child to read some words that he/she is confident with i.e ‘is, a, the’. This will allow him/her to gradually come to learn the new words in it, and to enjoy the story.
- Try to encourage him/her to continue reading the rest of the sentence. Notice that if your child cannot read a word within a second or two, apply the golden rule and move on with the story. Please remember that this is not the time to be stopping over difficult words and trying to work out what they say from the sounds of the letters.
- On a different evening, encourage your child to share the reading with you: read one sentence each. This will teach your child to look out for the next full stop, and this will help him/her get an idea of what a sentence is.
Hear with your heart
- Once your child is ready to be more independent with reading, please hear him/her read with an open heart. Support him/her by giving appropriate cues and prompts wherever necessary and lots of encouragement for reading well.
Your time and love for your child are the best gift you can give. Enjoy reading with your child.