How Can I Boost My Child’s Confidence When it Comes to Reading?
When our children learn to read, we should take special care to nurture confidence in their abilities. Children who are unsure about reading often avoid reading aloud and participating in class once they enter school. However, there are some simple steps you can take to boost your kid’s confidence for reading.
Engage in Interactive Reading
Reading aloud to your child allows them to hear the way words are pronounced. Tracing your finger under the words as you go ensures they can follow along. Additionally, sounding out difficult words teaches your kid that it’s okay to be unsure. Try reading a page and then discussing it with your child for a chance to make reading more interactive. Don’t force them to read with you or pressure them to pronounce words as you go.
No Pressure Practice
Practice makes perfect but reading to an adult can make children nervous. Try having your child read aloud to a dog, cat, younger sibling or stuffed animal. This type of practice allows them to make mistakes without judgment and build confidence. Reading to animals has been shown to help children gain confidence reading and enjoy reading more.
Turn Over the Reins
Let your child choose the books they want to read from the library or bookstore. Then, allow them to decide what time of day to practice reading. Give them milestones to reach with rewards to help them be self-motivated. Just be careful not to be overbearing about reading time. A good strategy for self-starting is to make your child a “chore chart” with reading listed for each day. When they have completed the day’s reading task, give them a snack, toy, treat or other prize.
Make sure to praise your child for their effort reading. Whether they are practicing alone, with the family dog or with you, let them know they are doing great. Focus more on the confidence of reading, rather than perfection. Be careful not to overcorrect your child.
Incorporate Reading Games
Playing reading games with your child is a fun way to engage them in books and words. There are many free educational games available online and for your devices. Games shouldn’t replace books, but the inclusion can help make reading exciting and build confidence for young children.
With these few simple steps, your child can be well on their way to confidence in reading. You can be proud of the effort you’ve put forth to build them up and prepare them for future success. Just five easy adjustments can make all the difference for your young reader.
What strategies have you used to improve your child’s reading confidence? What self-motivation techniques have you found to encourage your young reader? We want to hear your experiences!