All parents want their children to be successful in school and beyond. You start your child on the road to success early long before they are even able to hold a book. It begins at home with reading.
Developing reading skills is key to children’s success throughout school. If they can read well and comprehend what they are reading, they’ll do better in all subjects.
Begin reading to your children early as even babies can listen to your voice and become accustomed to the sounds of letters, what direction to read in, and the sequence of stories. Young children may only listen to a few pages before they move on to another activity but that’s to be expected and is completely normal for their stage of development. Some children prefer to listen to a story while they play with other toys.
Keep a lot of reading materials around such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Let your children see you reading to learn that it is important, even for adults. If your child has trouble reading, look into resources at your local school or library that may be able to help. Some children develop reading skills later than others but if they’ve felt like a failure early on they are less likely to feel confident in their reading as they get older.
Studies have shown that parents that play with and encourage their children to develop learning skills are more successful. The kind of involvement that makes a difference isn’t about being involved with activities like PTA.
Take the time to talk with your children and listen to what they have to say. Have them help you with chores around the house. Explain to them how to do them and then have your child repeat the instructions. When you ask your child a question, look them in the eye when they answer so that they know you are listening.
While watching TV together, ask your child questions about the program you are watching. When reading books, periodically stop and ask what your child thinks will happen next. By talking and asking questions, you can help your child develop reasoning skills.
Monitor Homework, TV Time, and Video Games
Set aside time for homework and make sure that it’s getting done. Your children will learn that completing it is important. Offer help if it is needed, but be sure your child is doing the work themselves. They won’t learn if someone else does it for them.
Monitor how much time is spent watching TV and playing video games. Know what they are watching and how long they are watching it. Model good TV habits for them by limiting your own time. If your child is particularly interested in a topic on TV, go to the library and find books together that explore the topic in more detail.
Academic success begins in the home. As you create an environment that encourages reading and learning you’ll set your child up for further success.