At the heart of a child’s academic and personal development lies the ability to read with confidence and comprehension. Reading for kids is a key that must be unlocked at an early age to help them explore a world of knowledge, imagination, and growth.
A strong reading skill must be cultivated from early childhood through frequent practice. Equipping children with good comprehension skills from an early age offers lifelong advantages and creates excellent opportunities for intellectual development. This vital reading skill contributes to improved academic performance and enhances cognitive abilities, setting the stage for a child’s educational development.
As the sun rises on a new era of education, parents, guardians, teachers, and educators are constantly seeking ways to mold young minds into lifelong learners. We understand your desire to do the best for the children around you.
Continue reading till the end, as we delve into the significance of nurturing early English reading skills and explore a guided strategy path that will empower you to guide the young minds on this rewarding journey.
Let’s jump right in?
Understanding Children’s Psychology at an Early Age
During the formative years, a child’s mind is like a canvas. It is ready to be painted with vibrant impressions and intricate strokes of knowledge. Early childhood is a crucial time for developing intellectual skills that set the stage for later development.
For example, from the age of 2 to 7, their brains are rapidly developing and absorbs information like sponges. At the ages of 6 to 12, children are still curious, but they might show signs to become more focused on specific interests and topics. They will show natural curiosity and openness to learning, as their cognitive abilities develop.
As far as the psychological aspect is concerned, helping children develop good reading skills will contribute to improving their ability to think. The brain makes intricate neural connections when young readers are reading a wide variety of texts, which allows them to understand the language better.
This is why, neuroscientists have often said that the brain’s regions involved in language acquisition, cognitive thinking and artistic expression are stimulated by early exposure to how much they read.
Children who have excellent reading skills usually are able to find encouragement to actively examine, ask questions and assimilate knowledge. Critical thought and problem solving are also established in them because of the same traits. This sets them up for the future – having strong cognitive abilities to help stand out from the crowd.
11 Essential Steps for Raising a Lifelong Reader
Developing a child’s English reading skills can be an enriching experience for both the child and the parent. The following is a list of easy tips, rules and frameworks that can help your child learn to read better in English.
1. Create a Reading Routine:
Establish a consistent reading schedule for your children. This reading schedule will become an integral part of the child’s daily routine. It could be before bedtime, after school, or before sleeping – any time that suits your child’s schedule.
Regular reading sessions, whether in the morning or before bedtime will not only cultivate for a good reading skill; it will also help to give them a sense of discipline.
2. Children Like to Follow Examples:
Children often consider the adults around them as their role models. If you are a guardian or a teacher, you can inspire a love for reading by showcasing your own passion for reading, or at least, by talking about it.
When children will witness that you enjoy books and reading, they will be more likely to emulate this positive behavior – and you will not have to push them even!
3. Build a Home Library:
Ok, you don’t have to build a full library with hundreds of books. But at least start by having as much as 20-30 books.
Organize the books in an accessible and inviting manner — meaning, within the reach of the children. This will make it easy for the children to explore and choose their reads. A standard library at home provides children with the incentive to spark their curiosity, and an endless supply of learning opportunities!
Bring a variety of age-appropriate books into the house that kids can use right at their fingertips, and allow them to get invaluable knowledge and imagination.
4. Read Aloud Together:
Reading aloud to and with children of all ages has immeasurable benefits. It’ll make them better listeners and expose them to a great vocabulary so they can connect with the stories.
When you are engaging in reading sessions like this, take small breaks in encouraging them to participate in discussions about the characters and plot. These shared moments create beautiful memories and strengthen family bonds for you and your kids.
5. Make Them Use Reading Apps:
In addition to traditional reading methods, use internet-based reading applications. Your child will find those apps engaging. These reading apps will help children to learn easily from their computer or mobile phones, and provide a seamless bridge between screen time and valuable learning experiences.
One such recommended application we have is the Readvive Web App. With Readvive, you can make your child follow a 90-day reading sprint – each day with different lessons. The lessons also contain a lot of exercises to test and improve your kids reading comprehension ability. Although the app lessons are of slightly advanced level, you can still give it a try with your children.
6. Encourage Them to Ask Questions:
Support their natural curiosity by encouraging them to ask questions. It’s one of the sweetest things about fostering a young reader to watch him have such boundless curiosity.
Give yourself time to thoughtfully answer their questions. The questions may be silly ones, but even asking that takes a lot of confidence, right? Each question represents an opportunity of learning and meaningful discussion with them. You don’t just make them understand better, you build the foundation for lifelong love of education through nurturing such a natural curiosity!
7. Set Them With Specific Reading Goals:
As the guiding figure to the child’s reading journey, you should definitely set some kind of goals. Setting these achievable goals is a wonderful way to inspire motivation and a sense of accomplishment.
How you will set the goals depend on what is appropriate to their age, reading level and interests. It can be about whether they’ve completed some number of books within the month. It can be about whether they are doing an exploration of different genres.
These goals give children a feeling of direction and purpose in their reading journey. Which brings us to our next point…
8. Reward Them for The Progress:
You should always find ways to give your child the recognition and the praise for completing the milestones.
As you observe their progress, be their cheerleader, and acknowledge their efforts. It can be through a genuine word of encouragement, a pat on the back, or even a small celebration for the completion of a difficult book – like taking them out for a small treat.
It doesn’t have to be a big reward; the simple act of celebrating their success will give them the confidence and inspires to continue their passion for reading.
9. Explore Various Formats
The reading world is far broader than the ordinary print book. Take advantage of the variety of reading formats that are available and introduce the kids to a mix of traditional books, e-books, audiobooks, comic books, illustrated stories etc.
By providing them a variety of formats, you can find out which learning style they can adapt to best. Many parents think that embracing technology replaces the joy of holding a physical book. Instead, it actually enriches their reading journey.
10. Introduce Them With Fun Word Games
When you learn a language with games, it automatically adds a sense of fun. Fun games like word searches, crossword puzzles enhance language skills while also making kids entertained.
One such example is the game Wordle. Almost 2 million users played this popular game since its release in 2021. Study has also shown that, continuously playing Wordle helps sharpen the brain.
11. Respect Their Reading Preferences
Just as each child is unique, so are their reading preferences. Let them choose from a range of books and genres which correspond to their interests and passions. Encourage them to choose it by themselves, while also respecting their interests and preferences.
Your children might like comic books, or little thrilling adventure books, or whimsical fantasy books. When you allow them to explore between the topics and genres they are passionate about, it creates a more positive reading experience for them.
As we explore the long-term benefits and cognitive impact of good reading, it becomes clear that reading practices at the foundation level shapes the children. It equips them with a valuable trait for academic success in future and fosters lifelong ability to comprehend better. As a guardian figure, you will have to remember that the key is to making reading enjoyable and become a positive experience for the child.