Advice Column, Education, Kumon, Recently, Study Assistance, Study Tips


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  • Category Advice Column, Education, Kumon, Recently, Study Assistance, Study Tips

Reading is an important activity that everyone can be involved in. Not only does it help to expand knowledge, but it can also be a ton of fun! If your child has no interest in reading, there are a variety of ways to help them start building reading skills at home.

It may be a challenge to encourage reading with reluctant readers or even ones who are frustrated by reading. We put together a list of tactics that can help build reading skills and inspire children to find enjoyment in doing so.

Here are some ways to build reading skills at home:

1. Offer Different Reading Options

Be sure to provide your children with a variety of reading options. They may be more inspired to read books about certain topics or genres, as well as books of varying lengths. Having a few to choose from will give them the opportunity to explore their interests and find something they enjoy.

2. Set Aside Time to Read

Setting time aside to read is great for anyone, any age! Show your children that it’s important to make time to read for fun by doing so yourself. Seeing you read will help to encourage their own reading and can even become a part of your family routine.

3. Read Aloud

Reading aloud can be fun for the reader and the listener. Take turns reading aloud by using different voices and reading in an interesting way. While it may seem silly at first, this can help build excitement and curiosity for the story. It can even make the reading experience more fun and inspire them to read more on their own to get better at their story telling!

4. Use dictionaries (traditional or online) and flashcards

If your child is coming across words that are unfamiliar try looking up these words in a traditional dictionary or online to discover the meaning. Online dictionaries usually have the added feature of being able to play a soundbite to hear the correct pronunciation.

Your child could then write the definitions onto flashcards to help them remember the meaning. Knowing the meaning and pronunciation will help them read more fluently as they build their vocabulary and spelling skills.

(An added benefit of using a traditional dictionary is learning about alphabetical order and how to find words in this way.)

5. Define Reading Goals

Whether it’s learning 5 new words, reading a chapter book, or even reading 10 books over a period of time, there are tons of ways you can set your reading goals. Talk with your child about different goals they may have and help them set these. Depending on their age, you could use a star chart or some similar tracking system to recognise and reward achievement.

6. Participate in Reading Challenges or Activities

There are a variety of reading challenges available online (for example: Many of these challenges can be done at home and even incorporated into reading goals. It’s fun for children to have something to follow along with and be encouraged to read. You can also do different activities such as acting out scenes of the book or having them draw their favourite scene to encourage them to think through the story in a new perspective. 

7. Ask Questions About the Book

It’s beneficial to have discussions about the book before, during and after reading the book. This helps them get interested in the story before reading it and then keeps them engaged as they read the story. After the story concludes, it’s interesting for them to see what they learned or what they found most interesting from the book. Asking questions will keep engagement up and also get them thinking more analytically about what they read.

8. Join a Supplemental Reading Programme

Another way to build reading skills is to join a reading programme that is individualized for your child. A programme that considers your child’s comfortable starting point while continuously building their reading and writing skills. The Kumon English Programme does just that and can be incorporated into your daily reading routine. There are also tons of Recommended Reading List options to take away the guesswork of books that accommodate your child’s skills best.

The Takeaway – Have Fun!

Most importantly, building reading skills at home can be a lot of fun! As your children begin to explore new books, learn new words, and strengthen their skills, they will develop more confidence and be inspired to read independently. The confidence they build from regular reading practice will help your child develop a lifelong love of reading!

This article is taken directly from the KUMON NORTH AMERICA website:

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  • Willie Erasmus August 16, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Great advice. Many thanks.

    • Rozanne Loney August 17, 2022 at 7:44 am

      Thank you for your comment Willie. We really appreciate it and we are glad you found the article useful. From all of us at Kumon.

  • Tlogee June 1, 2023 at 7:42 am

    100 agree! Have been reading to my toddler since she was born and her vocabulary is impressive for her age and she now loves reading.

  • Chloe Lynch October 13, 2023 at 9:07 am

    My daughter loves it when I read her a book and make different voices for each character. It also helps us when she chooses which book we are going to read for the evening. Having a set routine reading time definitely is helping me to get my daughter more interested in reading books.


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