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Steps to Success » Reading Skills

Get the Most out of Reading with your Kids

When I was small, I read lots of stories without much supervision or guidance. It was a fun way to read, but it wasn’t the most effective. My mum was lovely but very busy, and she also lacked confidence in her storytelling abilities. I wish she had read more with me, so that I could have more memories now of the pleasure of that experience.

If you’re also busy or lacking confidence, here are some simple tips I’ve learned to make reading with your little ones more effective and engaging:

1. Have a choice of books
Stimulation can be essential to young learners, who might be intimidated by lots of dense text on a page. Pop-up books and picture books are both great options for early learners. Kids who are better at kinaesthetic and visual learning can get a lot out of these books through interaction and imagination. Once they’re interested in the story, they’ll become more engaged with the words. Comics can work the same way for older learners. The key to a productive reading session is pleasure, so make sure your kid can choose a book they enjoy.

2. Use a notebook
Reading is definitely a great source of new vocabulary. Prepare a notebook and ask your kid to write down words they’re not sure of as well as sample sentences from the book they’re reading. Your kid can look these up and practise using them. Flip through the notebook from time to time to sustain the memory of the words you’re learning.

3. Focus your attention
For young learners, your attention and encouragement mean a lot. Not only do they enjoy reading, but also the quality time they’re spending with you. You can create engagement with the story by changing your voice to match the feelings in it or by asking them questions such as, ‘What do you think might happen next?’ or, ‘If you were there, what would you do?’ These are great ways to get your child more involved in the story.

Try out these tips and you’re sure to create a lasting memory and a great learning experience. If you’re looking for something to read, try i-Learner Publishing’s Bugbug’s Library series.