Improve Your Child's Reading

Like learning to play the piano, the key to being able to read quickly and understand what you read is to practice, practice, practice!

One of the most important skills your children need to learn is how to read well and at a good speed. Imagine going through middle school, high school, college, and then a job and not being able to read quickly and understand what you read. It would be pure torture. Assignments that should take 20 minutes to complete would take a slow reader hours.

Also, as Christian parents, we want our children to read the Word of God for themselves. If our kids aren’t confident, good readers, they probably won’t get into a habit of reading the Bible for themselves.

Wouldn’t it be kinder to enforce a little tough love and make sure they were good readers by 3rd grade?

Oprah Winfrey attributes much of her success to the strict rules and guidance her father set for her. One of those rules was she had to read every day. Every week she had to turn in a book report, and learn 5 new vocabulary words each day. Was he being too strict and mean, or was he doing his daughter a tremendous favor?

Teacher Advice

I was an elementary teacher for 16 years, so I have a passion for teaching children how to be great readers. The key? Practice, practice, practice! (Yes, the method by which they are taught is a huge factor too, but that’s another blog.)

Each year on Back-to-School Night, I always shared with the parents my experience of learning to play the piano. Although I took piano lessons for 12 years from a good teacher, I never learned to play well. The reason? I rarely practiced. I was the youngest of six kids, and my working mother just didn’t have the time to make me.

So although I know all the notes, rhythms, clefs, etc. I’m terrible at reading music because I rarely practiced. I’m extremely slow. It’s painful! And because it’s slow and painful to get through a piece of music, I hate it. And because I hate it, I don’t do it.

It’s the same way with reading. Your children can know all the letters, sounds, sight words, etc., but u