As parents and educators, we want nothing more than to raise confident readers. However, between all of the mandated reading and testing, it seems a little easier said than done. Getting our kids to be confident readers doesn’t have to be a mystery any more. In fact, there are some simple tips for helping your child or student as they learn to read.
When I was in the classroom, the number one question parents always had, was “How do I teach my child to read?” My answer was always the same. I have always believed that developing a reader’s confidence and motivation is the number 1 key to success. “If a child believes they are a reader… they will be!”
This conversation and tips are sponsored by Reading Eggs.
This fact is true for any age child. Take my toddler as an example. That little girl thinks that she is the best reader in the world. She isn’t afraid to open a book, point at pictures, and even tell the story. It is my number one goal to keep that love of reading and confidence going for her.
However, her brother is a different story. When he was her age he was just as confident and motivated as she is. Something changed when he went to school. Suddenly he felt the pressure of needing to get the “right” word, sound the word out just right, and get to the next “level” of reading. He lost his joy. He lost his confidence.
Since we have been homeschooling for the last year, it has been my main goal to build his confidence and boost his self esteem when it comes to his reading. As hard as it was, I pushed away all focus on learning each skill in a certain order and meeting milestones on time. Instead we focused on these 5 simple tips to build his confidence.
Read Early and Often |
I can’t stress this enough. Start reading early! The earlier the better in fact. Just as my toddler is an avid reader, your child can be too. We make reading part of our day every day by reading aloud to the children, having them read to us, reading to each other and even reading in our environment while we are out and about. If you have an older child and you are just getting started, don’t worry. It’s not too late.
Start by introducing reading as something that the entire family enjoys. Let them see you reading. Talk to them about the books they like and show your enthusiasm for their new love of reading.
Meet Them Where They Are |
This is extremely important in boosting your child’s confidence. Remember how I said my son was discouraged. He even muttered the words “I can’t read” once and my heart broke into a million pieces. That’s when I knew it was time to take a step back and find something he COULD read. Maybe that was the cover of a book, maybe that was a book with only one word per page, maybe it was an old favorite that he had memorized… whatever it was, it was just right for him.
We recently discovered this online reading program that does just that. It meets kids where they are by even testing their reading level in a fun and non-intimidating way. Reading Eggs has put a lot of effort into making children want to keep using the program without having to be pushed by the parent or teacher. In fact, Reading Eggs has 120 reading lessons that travel through 12 exciting maps. Your child can repeat lessons to reinforce essential reading skills.
When we first started Reading Eggs, my son tried the Reading Eggspress (the more advanced portal for ages 7 and up). At first glance he shut down and wanted to give up. Then I opened up Reading Eggs and let him try the “test” there to find his level. He was hooked. I could barely get him off the computer.
Offer a Variety of Reading Material |
In order to get your child to be more confident in their reading abilities, it is important to offer them a wide variety of reading material. This can include magazines, picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, comics, and even reading games.
My son has fallen in love with Reading Eggs so much that he asks to read on it every single day. I know, you are probably thinking it is screen time, and I should limit that (which we do), but he is highly motivated to read and I know that this excitement will carry over to books. In fact, just yesterday, I walked in the room to find him reading an entire Dr. Seuss book to his sister without any struggles are frustrations. It was beautiful to see that smile and enjoyment back.
Give them Choice in What they Read |
In today’s educational system, there is a belief that “one size fits all” and all children should meet certain milestones at the same time. This belief from the top-down, funnels into the classrooms and into the homes, when all of the children are required to read the same book at the same time. By giving children choice in what they read, you are empowering them to become in control of their reading. This empowerment is exactly what is needed to build their confidence.
Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. And it really works! Children love the games, songs, golden eggs, and other rewards, which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning.
My oldest son is the perfect example of this tip. He has always loved books, loved being read to and loved listening to books on tape. However, he avoided reading written books with too much print due to a processing issue, we didn’t learn about until after he became a reader. I strongly believe that because I allowed him to choose what, when and how he read, he has become a more confident reader.
Allow them to Be a READER! |
This is one is quiet simple but often over looked. Call your child a reader!!! I am not saying to overly praise them, but I am saying that from day one of their life call them a reader, point out when they are reading, and what good reading habits are.
Reading eggs is great at doing this for young readers from ages 3-13 years. Your child can earn Golden Eggs by completing activities which can then be used in the Arcade and Reggie’s Shop. Children can also view their certificates and their collection of cute critters earned for completing lessons.
Helpful Resources to Help Your Confident Reader
Emergent Reader and Spelling Behaviors | This Reading Mama
Getting Started with Reading at Home | Lemon Lime Adventures
5 Things Kids Need Before They Can Sound It Out | The Measured Mom
From Now until February 28th, you can sign up for a FREE 4 week trial with Reading Eggs, so you can start boosting your child’s confidence in reading today! Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. And it really works!
What are some of your tips for boosting your child’s confidence in reading? What would you add to this list? I can’t wait to hear. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.