The importance of teaching your kids how to read well

reading well
Nathaniel was less than a year old in this picture.

This article should guide parents on teaching their young children how to read well. I hope this would serve as something they could use to delight and instruct their children at the same time.

Reading is, in itself, divided into four phases. These are extensive reading, oral reading, reading for special skills, and intensive reading.

For extensive reading, it involves wide and fast reading, and one which covers much material. It is best done when the material is easy and interesting.

Extensive reading should be as enjoyable as it could be, so that when a child reads more, he or she would be able to develop wider and more varied interests. In time he or she would go on his own looking for things to read which give him or her pleasure. Much of what a child would be reading would be selected because he or she finds enjoyment in reading them.

Intensive reading, of course, also affords enjoyment, but it is usually done with guidance.

One best way to develop speed in reading is wide reading of easy materials. Speed in reading involves skill in fixation and eye movement.

Correcting the wrong habits formed in early years takes time. As a parent, you could start it on your child with a simple, non-technical rule to follow in order to develop speed: practice him or her to read every single day under time pressure.

You have to encourage your child to try reading faster than his or her habit. In order for your child to improve and achieve something at what he’s doing, you have to team up together to do the carpentry every day. It has been proven that fast readers also understand more than slow readers.

Reading orally is to understand or feel what you are reading. In order for your child to read well orally, see to it that your child should be studying first a piece and gets its meaning. The meaning should refer not only to the thought but as well to the meaning or the mood being conveyed. Some pieces, especially poetry, don’t have any thought. Poetry merely communicates a feeling or a mood.

After getting the meaning by instructing your child to read intensively, you could then try asking him or her to convey the meaning through the voice. This must be done through correct emphasis, correct pausing, and correct inflection.

While reading, ask your child to feel the piece or else his or her reading would sound false. Remind him or her that nobody could read well orally who does not understand what he or she is reading.

Reading to develop skills. It would be impossible for your child to read much unless he or she knows enough words. It is through reading that your child learns the meanings of words in context. By studying what a sentence means, he or she could often guess or infer the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

As the saying goes: the more you read, the more you know. As your child develops his or her love for reading, his or her vocabulary grows. But we couldn’t always rely on context. Consulting a dictionary is often an easy option and parents should allow their kids to have access to it as well. Your child’s ability to use a dictionary is a useful study skill and a very valuable habit to cultivate. There are, of course, other ways in which parents could build the vocabularies of their children.

Intensive reading is a method of reading in which the reader has to look for hidden meanings, for details, and for fine distinctions.  Parents must take notice how their child may try to get the central idea or the “point” of what he or she is reading. They must also observe how their child is grasping details and organizing them. In other words, intensive reading is careful reading.