Learning to read: how to motivate your child

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Knowing how to read is necessary for the proper functioning of daily life. It is also an essential skill for academic success and is the basis for all learning. Parents can play a big role in motivating their child in this area and helping them develop their reading skills.

Being able to read is necessary for the proper functioning of daily life. It is also an essential skill for academic success and is the foundation for all learning. Parents can play an important role in motivating children to read and helping them develop their reading skills.

The benefits of reading

Reading has many benefits. Over time, your child will discover that reading allows him or her to :

communicate and share ideas;
Learn about things;
Understand instructions;
Immerse themselves in worlds that stimulate the imagination;
develop patience and the ability to concentrate
to preserve memory (the written word remains);
to access a mass of knowledge accumulated over time;
to develop thinking.
It must be fun, and this is the first thing you can teach your child: reading is fun.Stages of learning to read
Learning to read is a gradual process. Here are the different stages of learning to read. But remember, every child is different and learns at his or her own pace.

Toddler

Your toddler is learning to read, becoming familiar with letters and understanding that what is written is the same from one time to the next. Rhymes and songs are also a good way to learn letters and words.
He manipulates the book and focuses on the pictures.
He learns that we read from left to right.
Preschool age (4-5 years)

Makes connections between sounds and letters
Understands that his ideas can be written on a page
Understands that text can tell a story.
Beginning reader, school age

Identifies words and understands that when several words are put together, they make sense.
Can predict what will happen next in a story or sequence of events
Interested in and active in a variety of reading genres
Makes connections between personal experience and a story they have read.

How do you prepare and help your child to read?

There are many ways to get your child excited about reading. Your example and support will make a difference. Here are some suggestions:

Read with your child. Make it a special time;

Make reading time part of your child’s daily routine, such as bedtime;

When your child begins to read, ask him to read a story aloud to you. Be patient. They will read slowly and make mistakes, but this activity will motivate them and help them learn. Be enthusiastic and praise him for his efforts;

Play audiobooks for your child. Audio books allow you to follow the words in a book and hear them at the same time. This will help your child learn;

Write short messages to your child: a letter pinned to the refrigerator or on the bulletin board in his room, a kind note in his lunch box;

Ask your child questions about his or her reading. This will allow them to discuss their understanding of the story with you. This will help them better express their ideas or opinions;

Show them what reading is really about. For example, ask them to help you read a recipe or road signs and help you write the grocery list;

Take them to cultural activities related to reading, such as a trip to the library or a bookstore event. Make it a fun, joyful event;

Involve your child in creating a special place for reading in the home;

Try to have all kinds of reading material in the house: books, magazines, newspapers, grocery flyers. Borrow books regularly from the local library. Remember to have everything you need for writing: notebooks, pencils, pens;

Let your child make choices about books that he or she likes;

Ask the children’s bookstore, librarian or teacher for reading suggestions based on your child’s age and tastes. There are also several websites on children’s literature.

If you are having trouble reading yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help to improve. It is never too late to learn.

Reading with your child

Even as your child begins to learn to read, continue to read stories to him. Your child can then follow along in the book as you tell the story. This activity creates an intimate moment between you and your child. It also demonstrates the importance you place on reading.

Reading a story together can also be an opportunity to talk about a time in his life and discuss it together. For example, if you read a story about a child starting school or a child who had a fight with his best friend, he will recognize himself and be able to tell you what he thinks and feels.

It’s also a good idea to set aside time to read silently side by side, to make it a nice intimate moment. Your child tends to imitate you. They will feel a sense of pride in being able to do what you do. Think of it as an opportunity to share. If you take an interest in the books he likes, he will feel that he is important to you.

If your child is having trouble

If you think your child is having trouble learning, talk to the teacher first and, if necessary, consult your family doctor. There are some signs that your child may be having trouble reading:

He or she has difficulty recognizing letters and words;
He or she can’t associate a letter with a sound;
He or she doesn’t follow a story line well;
He/she does not make connections between a story and his/her own experience;
He or she pays little attention when you read a story aloud;
He or she can’t write his or her name.
It is also possible that your child has a vision problem, a hearing problem or a neurological disorder such as dyslexia (which causes difficulty distinguishing letters). If this is the case, it is best to have an assessment done by a professional as soon as possible so that steps can be taken to help your child learn. If you have any concerns about your child’s learning, don’t hesitate to talk to his or her teacher.

However, remember that every child is different and their pace should be respected.

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