Tips for Creating a Reading Schedule and Place That Works for Everyone

Teaching your child to read may be one of the most important things you do as a parent. When your child can read, the whole world opens up to them. They will be able to read not only for fun but will understand signs, food labels, and instructions. But beyond that, our very freedom is based on having a well-read and educated society.

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Common Reading Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Reading is a challenge for many young children. There are a number of common errors that are made when learning to read, but there are ways to correct them before they become ingrained in your childís reading. Here are some of the more common reading mistakes, and how you can fix them as soon as they appear.

Tracking Errors

Tracking errors are when a child mixes up sounds within a word. It indicates that they are not tracking left to right, which is the proper way to read. They might sound out a letter near the end of the word before one nearer to the beginning. To help your child in this situation, sound out the word from left to right, and move your finger in the proper direction to help them remember this.

Word Guessing

Often when a child learns to read, they may guess a word without viewing it in its entirety. If a child makes the correct sound of the first letter, but the rest of the word is wrong, they may be doing this. Watch your childís eyes closely, as children who are word guessing often look away from the page and list a string of possible words while watching you to see how you react. Again, sound out the word for your child while pointing at the letters and letter combinations.

Trouble with Vowel Combinations

Children may struggle with combining vowels. You will realize this if their vowel combinations sound choppy or do not flow properly. If your child is having difficulty putting two vowels together, practice sounding out the vowel combinations, or make up a catchy rhyme or poem to help them remember what the combination sounds like.

Lack of Attention to Detail

When a child is in a hurry to read or has trouble concentrating, they may lack attention to detail. If your child misses parts of a word they are attempting to read or skips words, this may be the issue. They may have trouble blending consonant clusters. Encourage your child to slow down and take their time in order to conquer this problem.

Confusing the Letters

It is a common issue for children to confuse letters when they are beginning to read. Letters such as b, d, and even p which are similar in shape can cause confusion among early readers. If your child is obviously mixing up their letters, have them print each letter numerous times in regular block style print.

Text Memorization

Sometimes children learn tricks that make them appear to be reading better than they actually are. This can be deceiving to those who are instructing them, as the child appears not to have any struggles. If you notice your child reciting a portion of reading to you and they are not even looking at the book, they have likely memorized it. The way to combat this is to have your child read new books often and to avoid books with pictures that give away what is written once they have read it through.

There are many common mistakes a child may make while learning to read. If you catch them early, you can correct them so that they will not become a long-term stumbling block to your child. Your young reader will benefit from your attention as you keep your eyes out for these common reading mistakes and assist your child in conquering them.

How Do Our Routines Impact Children’s Reading?

No one would argue that reading is one of the most important things we can teach our children. When a child learns to read, it opens up a whole new world to them. When a person can read, they will be able to do more, learn more, and become more than they otherwise would. Our routines can impact our childrenís reading, and here are some ideas on how your routines can encourage your child to become an avid and effortless reader.

Routines Make Time for Reading

In a busy world where we often feel like we are flying from one activity to the next, routines give us a solid schedule where we can make time for what is important to us and our families. Maintaining routines ensures that there will always be time for our children to read. Having a certain time set aside daily to read is one of the best things we can schedule and make time for.

Routines Allow Us to Be Involved in the Process

Routines also allow us to be able to commit to helping a child read. It is frustrating for a child who has a desire to learn something when their parent has too many other things on the go to assist them when needed. Putting reading into oneís schedule allows us to be available and to plan ahead so that we can be there when necessary.

Routines Allow Our Children to Look Forward to Reading

Children thrive on routines, and they crave predictability in their schedules. When your child knows what to expect at each given moment, they will anticipate what comes next. Although it seems counter-intuitive, our children will be more likely to look forward to reading when they know it is going to happen at a certain time, and on a daily basis.

Routines Give Children the Structure to Think Creatively

When a child doesnít have to wonder what is going to happen at the next moment, all day long, they can channel their creativity into more worthwhile things. Routines free up a child and their imagination and give your child room to expand their creative pursuits. Children who think creatively are more likely to enjoy reading because their imagination fills in the blanks as they read, and brings the text to life.

Routines Free Your Childís Mind to Learn

Daily routines help everyone function at their best, from the youngest to the oldest of the family. Routines help us feel stable and let us get into a rhythm. We function at our best when our bodies have a predictable pattern and know what to expect next. Your child will feel less scattered and be able to focus and concentrate on reading when they feel safe and secure. This is what routines do for us.

Routines are beneficial to families in every way. They give time to parents, creative energy to children, and the opportunity to make it all happen. Embrace routines in your life and see what a difference it can make in your childís ability and love for reading.

What a Child Can Learn Through Reading

Through books, a child is taken from the confines of their reading area and into the world of a writer’s imagination. They can walk through a land far away, fly through a cloudy sky, or experience life that is different from their own. I have often written that we read as an escape from our ordinary lives. But for a moment I want to revisit one of readings fundamental aspects; reading is a teaching tool. And for children’s reading, the teaching is often under the surface or in the background. Without a child realizing it, they are learning.

How to Do Things

Reading can be a great way for our children to learn things. Or at the least, it can give them a springboard to ask questions about learning to do things. Through a character they read about, a child is introduced to the experiences and abilities in which they may have an interest. The day to day lives of a storybook character can cause a young reader to want to live that life. So, they try to act out what they read. Through this process, they learn valuable lessons about what they can do, and what they cannot do; at least yet. Books like Harold and the Purple Crayon give a child eager anticipation to draw. Unfortunately, your hallway may need to be wiped down a few times before they learn drawing goes on paper. This eagerness to experiment can lead to bigger things like in All By Myself. The main character of this story is learning about growing up. It’s about his adventure of trying to brush his hair and pour a glass of juice on his own. Growing up is going to happen, and reading is a great avenue for children to explore and ask questions about life in general. When they see characters doing things that they haven’t learned yet, it gives them a desire to attempt to do those things. And the opportunity for us to guide them in doing them properly.

How to Interact with Others

This attitude of curiosity is not only applicable to trying new things; it can attribute to a child’s behavior. If a character in a story is using good manners, then those behaviors can be picked up by a young reader. You as a parent can also use that character’s actions to bring about a change of behavior in a child, especially when the child admires the character. For instance, Olivia is very respectful in how she communicates with adults. She is also friendly with others and likes to share. These examples can be pointed out to your child to emulate, which will help them as they get older and move into the schooling years and have to deal with other people. Interaction with others is one of the most significant issues when it comes to making the transition from being at home all day and starting school. Stories about sharing and helping others can help that awkward transition a bit easier. There are many children’s books out there that tackle the first day of school and all the emotions that surround it; the anxiety of meeting new people, fear of not being liked, the sadness of being away from a parent, and the nervousness of having to learn. Reading a good book can prepare a child for human interaction outside of the family circle they have grown accustomed to.

How to View the World

It is all about perspective. Books give a glimpse into a character’s life. We are introduced to someone and given their characteristics. Those details can tell us about how they view the world around them. Books will often take a character through a series of events that will cause a change in the character that will affect their worldview. Often it is from a negative outlook of life to a positive view through a certain event that occurs. An unhappy character finds joy. A mean character finds the ability to be nice. Bullying is a terrible thing for a child to face. Especially at a young age. But it is inevitable, at some point your child will face a bullying situation. The question is, what side will the child be on? Will they be the one who is being bullied, a witness to someone being pushed around and made fun of, or will they be the instigator? In each instance, believe it or not, reading can teach a child how to deal with these situations. Again, there are a plethora of children’s books that deal with this subject and how to handle it. Allow a child to be prepared by reading some of them.

How to View Themselves

How a child views the world and how they see themselves often go hand in hand. A child with a poor worldview can often feel isolated and afraid. A positive view of the external can leave their head lifted high and more confident about themselves. However, a personal view goes beyond the covers of a book. If a child’s self-esteem is crushed by a parent or someone close to them, then no book in print can overcome such obstacles. But that is another blog entirely. Just understand that in a positive environment, a good book will reinforce positive teaching. Stories like The Ugly Duckling and The Ugly Five all teach about uniqueness and loving yourself for who you are. Tacky the Penguin and Giraffes Can’t Dance show a child they can be who they are in spite of what others say; that being different has its advantages. Through a book, a child can learn that it’s okay to be smart, silly, or own an imaginary dragon. They can see a variety of characters with what some would see as disadvantages and how they view themselves in a positive light. We have used the example of The Little Engine that Could before. After other engines find excuses for not wanting to pull a load of toys up a difficult hill, one small engine takes on the challenge. She believed that even though she was small that she could do what she sets her heart out to do. That confidence allows her to succeed at the immense task in front of her. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could.” Stories like this, with proper adult guidance, will challenge a child into believing they can do anything if they have the determination to do it.

Final Thoughts 

As a child travels through the adventures of a book, lessons are learned. Every book has a premise or an expected outcome after reading it. Teaching a child about making friends, tying one’s shoes, and believing they can be whatever they choose to be, are important life lessons in their progression to becoming an adult. It is a great thing that literature helps reinforce the lessons we are verbally teaching our children. We can use the stories our kids read as examples of good behavior and the consequences of poor decisions. As you open the pages of the story you read to your child tonight, or the book they read to you, ask yourself, “What is the lesson this book is teaching, and how can I use it to help my child grow?”

About the AuthorJeff S Bray

Jeff is a writer with a passion for God that comes through in everything he writes. A local First Baptist member and truck driver he loves to create works that glorify God.  In addition to his freelance work, Jeff has written a series of books called the Elissa the Curious Snail series which helps parents introduce basic faith concepts like prayer, even in the face of adversity, into their teachings in a fun and entertaining way. No faithful home with children or grandchildren should be without a copy. See my books at www.elissathecurioussnail.com