Around age five, children are learning to read and by eight they should be a fluent reader. No matter the stage, there are things you can do to help them in their journey and also use books as a positive tool to grow your relationship.
When reading with your 5-8 year old:
– Make sure you are on the same page as their schoolteacher on how to constructively work with them during reading time. Your child’s teacher may have a process for how to get through a book together, and your child will benefit by their parent and teacher using the same methods.
– Many parents push for their child to move into chapter books. Make sure your child is really ready for this…. Do they seem to enjoy the text as much as the pictures? Can they listen to a story for 20 minutes? Can they follow a more complex storyline? If so, they may be ready.
– Continue to have conversations and ask questions about the book your child is reading. Ask them to recap the story or predict what will happen next.
– If your child is a reluctant or self-conscious reader, look into programs at your local library like “Children Reading to Dogs,” by Therapy Dogs International. Many children who previously didn’t enjoy reading find it a different experience when reading to a dog. They relax in a non-judgmental environment with a furry friend and can better focus on the task at hand.
– Find book series for your child to read. Discovering a storyline they enjoy will lead to more excitement about reading, knowing there are more books to come!
While many children can read, most still enjoy being read to. Don’t forget to occasionally take the focus off of their reading development and read to them. They will still benefit from the experience, and it provides an opportunity to not only bond with them but to also discuss the story line, making the time less about learning and more about life.
Looking for new books to read with your child? We love:
- Sounds of the Wild Series by Maurice Pledger.
- 3-D Explorer Series.
- Uncover It Series.
- Great for reluctant readers, Uncle John’s For Kids Only!
Our “Raise a Reader” blog series offers up tips, discussion points and recommendations on reading with your child from infant to 12 years of age. Stay tuned over the next month as we bring you more in this series!