Elementary Reading Help: How to Help Your Child Read Better

Although learning to read can be fun, it can also be difficult at times for elementary students. Maintaining a positive attitude and actively engaging your child in reading activities will help him or her succeed. The five strategies below may help your child become a better reader.

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What Strategies Can I Use to Improve My Child's Reading Skills?

Encourage Frequent Reading

Many students who want to improve their reading skills don't take the time to read as often as they should. The lack of reading may be due to their ongoing frustration as they struggle to read. To combat this issue, take your child to the library and encourage him to choose books that interest him. If necessary, you can find book recommendations for elementary students online or at the library. Dedicate some time each night for everyone in the family to read so you can set an example and get him in the habit of reading.

Read Out Loud

Another great way to help your child improve her reading skills is to read out loud to her. When she listens to you read, she's able to hear how words are pronounced and expressions are used. This helps her improve her fluency. You can also listen to an audio recording of a book with her while you follow along together in your own copy. Attend local book readings with children's authors at bookstores or libraries; this may get your child excited about reading.

Use Mental Pictures

The more your child is engaged and focused while reading, the better reader he'll become. To help him stay engaged, ask him to create mental pictures while he reads. When the author describes something, encourage him to imagine it in great detail. Provide him with the materials to turn this mental picture into a collage or drawing. This may help him comprehend and remember the story better.

Discuss Predictions

Ask your child to stop at certain spots in her reading and predict what's going to happen next. Discuss how she came up with her predictions. She can check them once she starts reading again to see if she's doing a good job of understanding the story. If her prediction is close to what actually happens next, she'll know that she's following the story well. If her prediction is way off, she may need to reread some parts again.

Find Connections

Finally, you should always help your child make connections to what he's reading. Is the main character like him? Did similar events or problems occur in his life? Does he share the feelings the author has about the subject of the story? Encourage him to answer questions like these and come up with some questions of his own. This keeps him engaged in what he reads, which can add to his enjoyment and comprehension.

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