15 Simple Ways to Boost Your Child’s Reading Confidence

boost child's reading confidence

SPECIAL OFFER: Claim your free trial of Reading Eggs here and see how your child’s reading confidence improves with self-paced online reading lessons, fun activities and games.

For children who struggle with reading, opening a book or reading in front of their peers in class can be an incredibly daunting experience.

Reading confidence matters. Developing reading proficiency is essential for achieving overall success in school, and children who shy away from reading are likely to encounter even greater obstacles in the future.

To nurture a child’s self-esteem it’s important for parents to be patient and encouraging. Here are some simple ways to boost your child’s reading confidence and put them on the right path towards a lifelong love of reading.

1. Appreciate the sweat and tears. Struggling with reading can be both mentally and emotionally exhausting for a child. Make it clear that you acknowledge their effort when they try.

2. Give them control. Visit a bookstore or library and let them choose their own books. Allow them to choose where to read and at what time in the day. Give your child some freedom and space to figure out what works best for them.

3. Bond. Laugh together. Pause and talk about the pictures. Forget about reading practice and focus more on enjoying the quality time together. Sooner or later, they’ll start associating reading with positive things.

4. Make a game out of it. There are so many fun reading games you can play with your child every single day to build up their confidence. Online reading programs like Reading Eggs give children the opportunity to progress at their own pace with the aid of bright animations, high-level interactivity and motivating rewards.

5. Talk excitedly about books. Show your child how fun it is to read by talking enthusiastically about books every day. Ask questions about books you’ve read together and discuss the parts you liked best.

6. Make it relevant. Demonstrate the usefulness of reading by making it as relevant as possible. Going to a natural history museum? Read a book about animals. Baking a delicious cake? Read the ingredients you need from a recipe.

7. Don’t push too hard. Challenging your child every now and then is great, but if your child wants to read the same book for the twentieth time, allow it. Let them feel proud about reading a book from cover to cover without needing your help. This is important for building their confidence.

8. Do paired reading every day. It should go without saying, but reading together every day is one of the most helpful ways you can build your child’s confidence. Take turns reading each page or give them one word in each line to read.

9. Give privacy. Allow your child some alone time to read without any fear of judgement. They won’t have to worry about taking too long to finish a line or getting stuck on a word.

10. Read to the family dog or cat. Companion animals make the perfect audience and eliminate the fear of being judged. If you don’t have an animal at home, your child can read to a younger sibling or even to their toys.

11. Show them that struggle is normal. Don’t fret over hiding your own weaknesses, in fact, letting your child see you get stuck on certain words will help them understand that struggle is normal, even for grownups.

12. Don’t overcorrect. Resist the temptation to correct small mistakes. Remember, the overall goal is to build confidence. There will be plenty of opportunities to work on accuracy and fluency later.

13. Praise. No matter what level your child is at, remind yourself how far they’ve come, even if they’ve made relatively small progress. Praise constantly. It will encourage them to keep improving.

14. Write your own books together. Home-made books are a fantastic way to build your child’s fluency. After all, reading a familiar story is great fun! Start with a few words, some drawings or photos on each page, and a simple title, like ‘Sarah’s First Trip to the Beach’.

15. Look beyond books. Building your child’s reading confidence doesn’t have to come from books. Comics, video games, trading cards, board games, shopping lists, cereal boxes – you name it – are all things your child can read to build up their self-esteem.

Reading Eggs is the award-winning online reading program that makes learning to read easy and fun for young children. The program includes fun games, exciting rewards, and self-paced lessons that children find highly engaging and encouraging.

Special free trial offer: Start your free trial of Reading Eggs here and see how your child’s reading confidence improves in just weeks.

How to Get Your Kids Reading More This Year

encourage children to read

We all want to instil a love of reading in our children, and what better way to start than with a fresh new year!

Reading offers a wealth of benefits for young children – it grows their vocabulary, builds their comprehension skills, expands their knowledge and understanding of the world, and gives them a better chance at succeeding in school. And it’s no secret – the more you read, the better you become at it.

Here are ten simple and achievable ways to get your children reading more books this year.

1. Create a reading nook at home – set up a special place completely dedicated to reading. It can be as simple as installing a few cosy pillows, a nightlight, and a few sturdy bookshelves.

2. Make time – Avoid overscheduling your child’s calendar with extra activities this year. You want to ensure they have enough time to sift through their bookshelves and regularly enjoy a long, leisurely read.

3. Make bedtime reading a part of your daily routine – Reading together is a powerful way to bond and encourage your child to adopt a positive attitude towards books and reading. Set aside some time each evening to enjoy a bedtime story and take turns reading to each other.

4. Visit the library or download a children’s books app – Make regular trips to the library or download a books app to give your kids a library of book titles at the swipe of their fingertips. Reading Eggs includes over 2000 online books for kids, many with read aloud options.

5. Make a family book tree – Sharing a joint family reading goal is a great way to encourage everyone at home to read. Cut out the shape of a tree from large construction paper and include a few branches. Throughout the year, each family member can add a leaf for every book read, until all the branches are full.

6. Explore new books genres together – Mix things up by delving into genres you haven’t tried before, like science-fiction, mystery, non-fiction, biographies, historical fiction, and poetry.

7. Stay open-minded about your book choices – Be flexible with what you allow your children to read. Comic books, joke books and magazines can be a great way to encourage reluctant readers, and offer their own unique benefits.

8. Watch more movies based on books – Studies show that movie releases spur many children to read the book version first. Reading a story before watching it on the big screen is a feat many children love to achieve, and it gives them a lot to talk about with their friends.

9. Talk about books at home and become a reading role model – Make books a part of your daily conversation. Talk about different characters, connections to real life, predictions you make, and what you want to read next. Let your kids see you reading and enjoying books in your spare time.

10. Leave a range of reading material around the house – Dr Seuss sums this up perfectly: “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks!”

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading program that makes learning to read fun. With over 2000 online books for kids, hundreds of guided reading lessons, fun games, lovable characters, and exciting rewards, start your child’s reading journey with a free trial today!

10 Fun Holiday Reading Activities for Kids

Holiday Reading Activities for Kids

The holiday season is known to cause a pronounced dip – or ‘slide’ – in children’s reading skills. With an abundance of distractions and a shake-up of routine, getting your child to read over the festive season can be a great challenge as a parent.

But with a bit of thought and preparation, the holidays can actually be the perfect time to enjoy fun and meaningful family activities based around books and reading. Here are some great holiday ideas to keep the magic of reading alive at home.

1. Pair books with day trips – The night before you visit a museum, landmark, or special exhibition, find books and websites to read with your child to help plan your trip together.

2. Create a holiday reading list – Take a trip to the library and put together a list of books your child would like to read during the holidays. Display the list somewhere you’ll see every day, like on the refrigerator, and reward your child with something small each time they check off a new title.

3. Make ‘DEAR’ time fun time – DEAR stands for ‘Drop Everything and Read’, where everybody in the house must drop what they’re doing and read a book. Make it spontaneous and exciting, similar to announcing a special treat!

4. Read to relatives – Encourage your child to show off their new reading skills to grandparents or relatives by reading them a story. Most children love being the focus of attention, and grandparents are usually more than happy to encourage their progress.

5. Follow a recipe – Cooking together is so much fun over the holidays and provides a great opportunity for your child to read out the ingredients and steps. Afterwards, help them write a menu for guests and family members, using as many descriptive words as they can.

6. Create a family book tree – Cut out the shape of a tree from a large sheet of construction paper and invite the whole family to decorate it, adding the words ‘My Family Book Tree’. Hang up your tree near your usual reading area, and as each person reads a book they can write down the title and add a new leaf.

7. Re-enact stories and perform them for relatives – Choose a well-loved story with fun and interesting characters and re-enact it from beginning to end. Prepare some props and perform your story as a family for relatives when they come to visit. Here are some great tips for raising a reader through dramatic play.

8. Start a reading circle with some friends – Host a weekly reading circle at your house and invite your child’s friends and family to join in. They can take turns choosing which books to read together each week.

9. Play fun literacy games on long car trips – If you’re planning a long road trip during the holidays, games like ‘I Spy’ and simple category games can be great for building essential literacy skills. Don’t forget to also stock up on good books for the road!

10. Mix things up with joke books and comic books – Encouraging your child to read a variety of texts is great for setting them up to become lifelong readers. Choose books you know they’ll love and don’t be afraid to experiment with joke books, riddles and comic books, which all offer their own unique benefits to young readers.

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading program that children love! With hundreds of guided reading lessons, fun games, lovable characters and exciting rewards, inspire your child’s love of reading this holiday with a free trial of Reading Eggs today.

 

What to Do When Your Child Guesses at Words

child guesses at words

Guessing at words is a common strategy for struggling readers. It doesn’t mean a child is being lazy or disinterested in reading. If a child is guessing, it’s likely they haven’t been taught the strategies needed to properly decode a word and determine its correct pronunciation.

Guessing is common among children who haven’t been taught early phonics skills. Phonics teaches children the principles of letter-sound relationships, which gives them the ability to correctly decode and pronounce written words and figure out words they haven’t seen before.

A child who hasn’t been taught decoding strategies will persistently guess at words based on the first letter or two, or based on its shape. For example, if the word is bread, they might read the word as bird or break.

There are several reasons for why a child might guess at words, and it’s important to speak with your child’s teacher if you pick up on a habit. Persistent guessing will make reading meaningless and frustrating for a child, and may discourage them from reading altogether.

Here are some ways you can help your child overcome their guessing habit.

1. Explain the ‘how’ of decoding words. When your child comes across an unknown word, show them how they can sound out the word by breaking it up into smaller parts (e.g. /c/…/a/…/t/).

2. Break up words into two parts. Cover the last part of the word with your finger and ask your child to say the first part. Then cover the first part and say the last part.

3. Read slowly and have your child repeat after you. Point to each sound as your read a sentence, and then ask your child to repeat after you. This will encourage them to pay attention to each individual part that makes up a word.

4. Use context clues. When your child guesses a word incorrectly, ask them if what they have read makes sense. Go back to the words they have read correctly and look at the pictures to help them use context clues to figure it out.

5. Combine context with sounding out parts of a word. Go back to an unknown word and ask your child to repeat the words that precede and follow it. Then ask them to sound out at least the first one or two sounds of the word. This will encourage them to use both the context of the sentence and the letter sounds.

6. Read nursery rhymes. Rhymes help children pay closer attention to word sounds by listening out for patterns. Take turns reading aloud each line of a nursery rhyme so that you can set up the rhythm and pace for your child to follow.

7. Play word family games. Choose an ending word family (e.g. -am, -at, -ed, -it) and ask your child to say and write all of the words they can come up with that end with that sound. This will help them build essential phonics skills.

8. Create word cards. Write some words that have three sounds on separate pieces of card, e.g. cow, bat, dog, lip, sun, pot. Let your child choose a card, read the word together, and then hold up three fingers. Ask them to tell you the first sound they hear in the word, then the second, then the third.

9. Use letter magnets. If your child struggles with middle vowel sounds, prepare letter magnets on the fridge and pull the vowels to one side (a, e, i, o, u). Say a CVC word (consonant-vowel-consonant), for example cat, and ask your child to spell it using the magnets. To help them, say each vowel sound aloud (/ayh/, /eh/, /ih/, /ah/, /uh/) while pointing at its letter, and ask your child which one makes a sound similar to the middle sound.

Reading Eggs includes hundreds of self-paced and structured phonics games, activities and lessons designed to teach children to read in a fun and motivating way.

Start your free trial of Reading Eggs here.

10 Things to Do When Your Child Isn’t Reading Fluently

help child read fluently

Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and expression. In order to become a confident reader who reads for meaning and enjoyment, children need to be able to read fluently, both silently and aloud.

Children often receive a lot of support in learning how to decode, but once they master the basics many receive few strategies to help them with fluency. A lack of fluency can make stories disjointed and lead to a great deal of frustration, even discouraging the reader from reading altogether.

Here are ten things you can do to help your child become a fluent and confident reader.

1. Know the signs – Be aware of clues that your child is having problems with fluency. Common signs include reading without expression, stumbling while reading aloud, reading aloud very slowly or at a mixed rate, ignoring punctuation, and moving the mouth while reading silently.

2. Make a habit of ‘buddy’ reading – The easiest and most effective way to help your child improve their fluency is by sitting down together and reading. Pair up as reading buddies every day, and take turns reading aloud. Your reading will provide a model of what fluent reading sounds like.

3. ‘Copycat’ (echo) reading – While reading together, ask your child to play ‘copycat’. Read one passage at a time and have your child read it back to you, matching your voice and intonation. This provides them with a vocal model of fluent reading that they can emulate.

4. Follow the finger – Encourage your child to follow the words on the page with their finger as you read them aloud. This will help them build stronger connections between spoken words and their written form.

5. Learn certain texts by heart – Learning and reciting short and fun texts, such as song lyrics, nursery rhymes and poems are great for building your child’s confidence, and helps them to become familiar with the rhythm of fluent reading.

6. Take breaks – If your child is stumbling a lot, let them rest. Forcing them to continue reading will only increase their frustration. Instead, close the book and acknowledge how hard they are trying. You can also turn back to a page they feel more confident about, and invite them to read it again.

7. Use audio books – Listening to what a fluent and expressive reader sounds like is important for building fluency. Audio books are a great tool for exposing your child to fluent reading, and are particularly helpful for reluctant readers, who can listen to the audio while following the text on the page.

8. Reread best-loved books – Practice makes perfect. It doesn’t matter how often your child wants to read a certain book; rereading the books they love makes valuable practice for becoming a fluent reader. With each reading, your child will become faster, more confident, and more expressive.

9. Throw in the theatrics – Dramatic play is a wonderful way to build essential early reading skills. Help your child write a short script and have fun rehearsing the lines. Invite other family members and friends to join in, and don’t forget to be silly and expressive to model fluency.

10. Hit record – Use a tape recorder or voice recording app to create audio books at home. Your child can read a book they love, or read aloud an original story they’ve come up with. You can even take turns reading aloud certain passages. This is a great motivator for your child to perfect their pace, expression, volume, and accuracy.

ABOUT READING EGGS

Reading Eggs helps children aged 3-13 improve their reading fluency with fun instructional online activities and e-books. The program builds fast and effortless word recognition in a highly motivating way with interactive animations, fun songs and characters, and exciting rewards.

SPECIAL FREE TRIAL OFFER: Start your free trial of Reading Eggs here and see how your child’s reading can improve in just weeks.