Reading habits in school aged children

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It is a integral  part of your child’s overall health and well-being. Lack of reading skill in children lead to  emotional and behavioural problems later in life. The skills your child learns early in life will help him well into adulthood.

Some suggestions for development of good reading skills are :

  • Read to your child Make reading part of every day. Even just a few minutes will make a difference. It’s also a great way to create a special bond by spending time with your child.
  • Continue to read out loud to your child even when he can read alone.
  • Read books that are a bit above your child’s reading level, as long as they are books that he can still understand and enjoy.
  • Read with your children. Children who are learning to read need to practice. If your child is doing well, regular reading at home is a chance for her to show off. If your child is having trouble, it provides a safe place to practice with someone she trusts.
  • Be a role model. Your children should see you enjoying reading. If he sees you and other family members reading books, newspapers, and magazines, he’ll learn that reading is important, fun and valuable.
  • Consider creating a special reading place in your home that is quiet and cozy. Keep books close to this area.
  • Use rhymes, games and songs. Singing traditional songs and telling stories can all enhance your child’s learning opportunities. This can also be a great way to expose your child to other languages.
  • Ask the experts for help. Teachers and librarians are good sources of advice for books that are right for your child’s age and reading level. Bookstore staff can be helpful too.
  • Visit the library, and create one at home. Get your child a library card as soon as you can .Make library visits part of your routine. If there are more books than toys in the house, your child is more likely to pick up a book when there’s nothing to do.
  • Limit screen time. Create time for reading by limiting the amount of time your child spends watching television or playing computer and video games.
  • Give your child some control over who reads and when. It’s important to support your child if he decides to take on a longer book. Take turns reading, perhaps alternating paragraphs or pages. Or you can “act out” the story—your child can read the dialogue, and you can narrate by reading the rest of the text.
  • Give your child a choice of books. Present a few books that are the right type and length for your child, and let him choose. If you don’t present a few options, he may not make good choices.
  • Keep a record of what your child is reading. Maintain a reading diary
  • Practice writing. Reading and writing go together. Children can practice their writing skills by making lists, keeping a journal, making a catalogue of their collections, or writing to friends and family, including e-mailing and texting (with parent supervision).
  • If your child has trouble reading, choose stories that she can relate to. Look for stories they know or that offer experiences they can relate to or illustrations they recognize.
  • Focus on meaning. Reading well is about understanding meaning, not just knowing how to say the words.•If your child is stuck on a word, don’t just make him recite it. Enculcate the habit of dictionary  and ask questions.
  • Help your child figure out the word by re-reading the rest of the page, or looking at pictures.
  • Try not to interrupt unless the mistake affects your child’s ability to understand the text.
  • At the end of the paragraph or chapter, go back to words your child didn’t know or had trouble sounding out and review them together.
  • If your child is an impatient reader, choose books that have movement. Books with short chapters encourage children to keep reading. Use sound effects and different voices to help keep the story interesting.
  • Have fun with word play. Tell jokes with puns, and play games that involve words, like Scrabble, Boggle and hangman. Do crossword puzzles together.
  • Opportunities to read are everywhere. Encourage your child to read street signs, the back of the cereal box, or the sports pages of the daily newspaper. Your child might also enjoy reading non-fiction or comic books. Time on the Internet can also involve reading, but always supervise time spent online.
  • Monitor text media. Tell them to use a formal style of texting and monitor them .