There is nothing better than seeing the joy on your child's face when they make it to the next reading level - today Lucas is jumping through hoops because he moved up to level 23.
Here are my 10 tips to help your child make progress up the reading levels:
- Practice practice practice - we know it is obvious but you simply can't beat practising a new skill. Get your kids to read for at least 15 minutes every day
- Read books at right level of difficulty - your child will get frustrated if they get every 2nd word wrong, if a book is too easy it won't challenge their reading ability. So make sure you read books at level that suits their reading skill
- Let them choose what book to read - provide a library of books & encourage your kid to pick a book they want to read
- Try reading different genres - when you try to read a boring book you stop reading it; kids are no different except they don't yet know what books they like to read. Help them to discover their own reading preferences by exploring different book genres together
- If its not fun you can stop - ensure your child knows they can stop reading a book if they find it boring, as long as they then try different books (it's not an excuse to avoid reading altogether)
- Read with different people - all parents know their kids fight them when over homework, it's painful for all of us. Try getting other people to read together with the kids it helps motivate them when they can show off their latest reading skills to different people (i.e. grannies make excellent reading buddies)
- Read books on technology - we all know that kids have a major addiction to technology & using it wherever possible. Use this to your advantage and get the kids reading digital books on an iPad or computer (in addition to physical books)
- Track their progress - as your child learns to read track their progress as they read more books and progress up the reading levels; make it easy for them to feel achievement
- Reward them - give your child something to aim for, such as 'when you make level 25 I'll take you to a water park' (or any reward you feel is appropriate for your family)
- Encourage their creative side - once you've read a story the child enjoyed explore it further; get your child to draw something from the story or to make up their own version & read it to you
These are the tricks I found worked best on my own kids & kept them reading daily. I've built features into our Chatty Kidz platform to help busy parents like you achieve results and get your own kids reading better.
What amazing value! I normally buy these books for $8/each but Chatty Kidz gives me 400+ books for only $5/month.
Judith Miller, Canberra
So how does Chatty Kidz help you to achieve the above results?
- We schedule a daily video call with different relatives (grandparents, friends, aunts, etc) and when the kids are talking to the relatives they also read a book - easy!
- We measure their reading ability every few months using the assessment tool
- The kids can choose from a massive range of books and more are added every month
- As there are so many books we find the kids naturally explore the content available to them, exposing them to a wide range of story types
- Whoever they are talking to/reading with they can decide to choose a different book
- Its easy to get lots of different people involved when you are only a video call away
- We keep a reading log & in the near future we're going to add that feature to Chatty Kidz
- Managing the rewards is a manual task for us currently but again its going to be developed by Chatty Kidz this year
- My kids draw their own comics/stories, take photos of the book & publish it on Chatty Kidz so they can show it to their grandparents