Thursday, January 6, 2011

Improving Reading Skills

It is human nature to avoid doing any difficult task. People who struggle with reading avoid reading. The only way to improve reading is to read.  There is a poster hung in many classrooms that reads:

10 Ways to Improve Reading
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
  • Read
When confronted with this dilemma many parents set aside several minutes a night to read with the student.  Together parent and child toil over pronunciation of words and comprehension of the passage.  It becomes laborious and soon both begin to dread the sessions.  Here are some suggestions to ease the stress while improving reading.
  • Mute the television and use Closed Caption for 5 minutes of a favorite show.  If the child watches the show consistently, he or she will know most of the words used by the characters. After 5 minutes turn the volume up and enjoy the show as usual.
  • Have the child read simple directions for recipes while the parent cooks. Even if the parent knows the necessary steps, the reading practice and bonding experience will be beneficial for both.  Simple instructions are on the back of boxes such as macaroni and cheese, Jello, instant mashed potatoes, and canned soup.
  • While traveling in a car, play a game such as recognizing road and business signs.  Keep track of how many points the child receives.  Try setting a goal and increasing it daily. 
  • Writing is an excellent way to improve reading skills.  Staple several pages of white paper together and encourage the child to create his or her own books, complete with illustrations.
  • Ask the child to write the grocery list and then read it back to the parent while in the store.
  • Ask the child to write phone messages for family members, even if he or she did not take the call.
  • Video games can be very helpful in improving reading skills.  Require the child to read the instructions before being allowed to play.  Most games have words or phrases that pop up during the game.  Require the child to read them before continuing with the game.
Reading is a necessary life skill.  In this day of advanced technology, we cannot allow illiteracy to continue.  We must use inventive ways to engage struggling students in the reading process for his or her own sake
Post a Comment