7 Ways to Encourage Good Reading Habits
Research has shown that the single most important predictor of overall success in school is the amount children are read to as toddlers.
This highlights the significant role parents play in helping children become confident and successful learners.
If your child is about to start elementary school soon, now is the time to start getting them into some good reading and writing habits to prepare them in the best way possible. Here's what you can start doing right now:
1. Regular reading at home
Education experts say that you should aim to read with your child every day. If this isn't possible, as a minimum, try and read to them at least four times per week.
2. Let your child choose their own books
Involve your child in choosing which books to read. This allows them to pick something they find interesting and encourages them to look forward to reading time.
3. Expose your child to new words
Reading a wide variety of books or simply introducing new words into regular conversation will help develop your child's vocabulary. The more words they know before they start school, the easier they will read their school level books.
4. Develop motor skills
A great activity to start your child writing is to trace over dotted lines in the shape of letters. This will help them develop their motor skills while learning letter formation at the same time.
5. Teach proper pencil grip
The ideal way to hold a pencil is with the thumb, index and middle fingers holding the pencil, known as the 'tripod grasp'. Holding a pencil this way ensures greater movement and keeps the hand stable.
6. Encourage early spelling attempts
When starting to write words and sentences, it's not uncommon for young children to guess how words are spelled. Quite often children will spell words the way they sound, for example 'wot' for 'what', or 'trane' for 'train'. This experimentation with language is completely normal and an important part of learning to write.
7. Take time with writing
Many children struggle with writing because they try to do it too quickly. Encourage your child to take their time to form letters and let them know it's OK to make mistakes – which also means teaching them how to use an eraser!