Independent reading is the end product of all the skills your child has learned from your regular reading sessions together. It may be daunting at first, but it is the best practice they can get to become fluent, confident readers. Try the following to help motivate your child to read on their own:
- Let them choose – your child will be so much more motivated to read on their own if they choose books that they’re interested in.
- Set reading goals – give your child something to work towards, for example, they can aim to finish a book before the end of the week, or learn five new words from a book they are reading.
- Regular reading time – designate a special time after school when your child can read without being disturbed. Setting a regular time will help them get into the habit of reading regularly, and it will soon become a part of their normal daily routine.
- Be on hand to help – make sure you’re around if your child has any questions about words they can’t read or don’t know the meaning of. If they are having trouble with a word or sentence, try and give them hints to see if they can work it out themselves, instead of simply giving them the answer.
- Let them tell you all about it – like most people, when you finish a book you want to tell people about it and share your thoughts. Discuss your child’s book with them and ask them questions that will help their comprehension, like ‘Who were the main characters?’ ‘What did you think when…’. ‘What was your favourite part?’
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