How to Help Your Child Become a Successful Reader

Why Learning to Read Fluently is Crucial

Let’s face is…we live in an extremely fast paced and competitive society.  Children have more going against them in this present day and age than ever before.  However, I believe that by helping your children become successful readers, as well as lifelong learners, you will be imparting some of the most amazing gifts you can ever give to your kids!

Give the Gift of Reading
Give the Gift of Reading to Your Child!

I don’t think I’ve ever met a parent who didn’t want their children to be happy and to grow up to accomplish more than they have.  We all want the best for our kids.  This is one of the true characteristics of a great parent!

Reading Success is Extremely Critical

According to dosomething.org, over 1.3 million students in the United States drop out of high school every year.  That’s about 26 kids every second.  That’s an unbelievable amount of brain cells wasted.  Even worse, this represents 1.3 million kids who either lost belief in themselves, or totally gave up on their dreams and goals for their lives.

Frustration Can Be Avoided
Reading Frustration Can Be Avoided.

Even more devastating is the realization that the majority of companies in America won’t even consider employing dropouts.  In my opinion, this is a huge tragedy, and one that could have ultimately been avoided.

No matter what job or career your child will choose in life, reading is definitely fundamental.  From working in the food industry to teaching, practicing medicine to selling cars, your child is going to have to be a successfully fluent reader.

Avoiding the “Stuckness” of Life

I have witnessed way too many adults stuck in jobs they absolutely hate in order to survive, pay their bills, and support their families.  A great majority of these people feel like they are in a perpetual rut because they never learned how to read fluently enough to go after their dream jobs.

How to Avoid Being Stuck
Knowing How to Read Well Can Help Kids and Adults Avoid Becoming “Stuck” in a Life They Didn’t Want.

However, there is always hope for this generation of kids who will be our future leaders some day!  Children need to believe in themselves and their abilities.  They need to know that they can be successful at reading and learning, no matter what they’ve experienced before!

Graduation
Students Need to Believe in Themselves! After All…They Are Our Future Leaders.

This is where you, as the parents and caregivers, come in.  It’s never too late to give your children the positive motivation and the skills they need to become great readers!

If Possible, Begin Early

Although it’s always wise to start the reading process with your kids when they are babies, don’t panic if you haven’t begun yet!  I am a firm believer that God takes even our most futile efforts, and expands upon them to help us overcome and succeed!

In another post, I talked about reading to your babies and toddlers.  It’s extremely important that your children see that you have the love of reading.  This will instill the importance of literacy and learning in them at a young age.

Father Reading to Baby
Parents and Caregivers Can Foster More Bonding With Their Babies by Reading to Them.

What Kinds of Books to Start With

Rhyming, animal, and ABC books are a good place to begin.  Be sure to point to different pictures, and say the names of the letters, animals, objects, etc. several times.

Zebra
The Little Ones Seem to Enjoy ABC Books When They Incorporate Animals!

You might even “talk” or “sing” your way through these books!  Ask them questions and have them point to various things in the books.

Babies and toddlers need to be included in the communication process.  This will make reading to your little one more fun, as well as foster a closer bond between the two of you. I discuss this in great detail in another post.  I hope you’ll check it out:)

Dad Reading With Baby
Reading to Your Babies and Toddlers is Where the Learning Begins!

Libraries Make Great “Reading” Field Trips

You might also check out your local library.  Many libraries have story time that is especially geared for the little ones.  This may include bouncing to the words, dancing to poems, and other lively games.  This will keep your babies and toddlers actively engaged during story time!

This is always a great place to take your little one to for reading field trips!  In addition to the wonderful reading programs they have, please make sure you check out the children’s section for fun books to read.

Toddlers in Library
The Little Ones Seem to Love Checking Out Library Books.

Be sure to let your child choose what books he/she would like to check out. This teaches good problem solving skills, especially if they are only allowed to check out 5-10 books, in place of taking the entire library home!

Girl Sitting on Stack of books
Libraries Are Fun Places to Begin the Reading Process With Your Child!

If you don’t have time to visit your local public library, please look into purchasing books for your kiddos.  This is a wonderful way to build up their “personal” libraries!  I am affiliated with two super cool new and used online bookstores.  They are both known for giving back to the world in the form of books to help kids and adults overcome illiteracy.  If you’re interested, please click on one of the images below, or visit their websites directly!

Over Eight Million Books w/ Free Shipping

books

Affiliate Disclosure

I would like to be open and transparent with you, as parents and caregivers. When you buy something from the websites listed on my site, I may receive an affiliate commission.  I never recommend poor quality products, or create false reviews to make sales.  The opinions I express are not representative of the companies that create these products.  It is my intention to explain products in such a way that you can make informed decisions on which ones best suit your needs.

Getting Your Pre-K, Kindergarten and Early Elementary Kiddos Excited to Read With ABC Mouse.com

If you’re interested in a wonderfully educational technology program that will teach and guide your children through the early stages of literacy, I highly recommend ABCmouse.com.  It is an extremely easy to use online curriculum for kids, ages 2-8.

ABCmouse.com encompasses a wide educational scope that includes over 850 lessons and 8,000 educational learning activities within a ten level framework in the areas of reading, math, social studies and science, as well as art and colors. I thought I would share a short video to explain more clearly how ABCmouse.com works!  Hope you enjoy…

As the video shows, ABCmouse.com begins with a step-by-step learning program.  Once your child completes each lesson, they are then taken to the next lesson, until all 10 levels are complete.  I love ABCmouse.com because children can learn at their own pace.  Plus, there are so many incentives to continue learning, as they are rewarded with tickets and rewards for the progress they make.

Kids Love Rewards
ABCmouse.com Rewards Kids for Moving Through the Lessons!

In addition, ABCmouse.com has been awarded the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, Teacher’s Choice Award, and Parent’s Choice Gold Award!  If you’re interested in starting your kiddos off on the pathway to early reading, please check out this wonderful program.  You can click on the banner below, or simply go to ABCmouse.com.

Setting the Stage For Your Older Kiddos

Since I work with children of all ages just about everyday, it seems that the older they get, the less they want to read.  I can bribe, cajole…you name it, but to get a book, magazine, or other reading material into their hands, that’s not part of their homework, is a complete chore!

A large majority of these kids don’t have the skills or the confidence that it takes to get through a book, much less understand what they have read.  This is frustration at its worst.  They would rather give up, than plow through their reading difficulties and try.

Frustrated Boy
Kids Need to Have Confidence to Overcome Their Reading Challenges.

The Reading Buddy Software Program

I wrote a post a while back about a terrific and easy reading program that will help your kids, not only become more fluent with their reading, but also comprehend even the minute details of the passages they are engaging with.

I know this program works because my niece used it for a year, and we saw huge leaps of improvement in her reading fluency.  Today, she is in middle school, and reads like crazy!

Elle Working on Reading Buddy Software
My niece, when she first began her journey with Reading Buddy Software!

The program is called Reading Buddy Software, and literally teaches kids how to sound out the words they are missing, while improving their fluency, as well as, instilling in them the ability to comprehend what they are reading.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this program has meant to my family and me.  Before Elle began working with the Reading Buddy Software Program, it was literally heart wrenching to watch her struggle with reading until she either broke down in tears, or quit.

Now, she is a successful reader, and new doors have opened up for her!  She no longer has to deal with reading frustration, and her self esteem has dramatically improved!  All thanks to this program!  (Of course, I think that God had a huge part to play in this, as well!)  I’ve included a short video that I hope you watch!

This is a repetitive reading program that is geared for children of all ages, provided they have a basic knowledge of phonics.  I go into greater detail about how the Reading Buddy Software program works in my previous post If you’re struggling with trying to help your child read more fluently, I sincerely hope you’ll take time to read.

There’s Always Hope For These Kids

No matter what your kiddos have faced in the past, there is always hope to overcoming reading challenges.  They just have to have a positive outlook, and continual positive affirmation fed into their hearts and minds each day.

They need to realize that they can become successful readers and ultimately, achieve their dreams as long as the don’t give up.  As I tell my kids, “Keep looking up.  You’ll get There!”

Child Looking Up
Keep Looking Up. You’ll Get There!

Giving Your Child Positive Affirmations

One extremely important thing that I believe in doing every day is telling each of my kids something positive about themselves.  It can be as simple as, “I think you’re absolutely beautiful, both inside and out!”  Or…”You always seem to light up a room.  Never forget to let your light shine!”

Let Your Light Shine
Give Your Child Positive Affirmations Each and Every Day.

It always produces a smile, and prayerfully, some of the much needed confidence that they will need to take with them into this big, and sometimes, scary world that we live in.

Let your kids know that you believe in them, and that they have whatever it takes to overcome obstacles.  In my book, their “reading difficulties” are really God’s way of preparing them for something much bigger than we could ever imagine!

Never Stop Learning About Your Child’s Interests

Sometimes, all you need to do is simply have casual conversations with your child to see what they’re “into.”  This is what I do with my kids on a regular basis because they always seem to change their minds about the things they love to do!

Get to Know Your Child
Spend Quality Time Finding Out What Your Child Loves.

It sounds like such a simple thing, right?  That’s what I thought until  I recently read a statistic that said that the average parent or caregiver spends less than 7 minutes a day in conversation with his/her child.  Shocking!  I spend more time than that just trying to wake up in the morning!

I say…”Defy the norm!”  Make your children a priority.  Take time to really get to know them, inside and out.  Believe me…someday, you’ll be thankful that you did:)  Plus…this might give you some insight as to what your child or teen will enjoy reading!

Create the Love of Reading in Your Kids

It’s really not impossible to help your kiddos begin to enjoy loving to read.  Whether it’s getting a good book in their hands, reading an enjoyable magazine, or simply reading something on their tablet, kids can find that reading is not all that “yucky!”

Let them see you read.  Or better yet, find something that the two of you can read together.  Yet, another way to foster bonding with your child, preteen, and yes, even your teenager!  Let them know that you want the very best for them, and that you’ll never give up on them:)

Mom and Daughter
Let Your Kids Know That You Believe in Them!

I wish you and your kids the very best that life has to offer!  If you ever have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.  And as always…Happy Reading to You and Your Child!

Blessings:)

Suzi

18 Replies to “How to Help Your Child Become a Successful Reader”

  1. Joe Handigr says:

    I remember when I was young I didn’t want to read books, I’d much more prefer playing games alone or not.
    That all changed when my parents decided to get me books as a gift, an goodness I was not a happy camper.

    But I can say that thanks to those books, reading and understanding. I most definitely did so much better in school compared to other peers, even in High School. There I was understanding how to use certain words in a sentence that others were still grasping in their minds.

    I was wondering what you would offer for this day and age for parents to use that’s available on a portable device?
    Kids love those flashing lights and intractable screens, what better then to make it fun to learn.

    1. Hi Joe:)  Thank goodness that your parents gave you books as gifts!  These were probably some of the best gifts they could have given you. 

      As far as reading on an iPad or Kindle, most libraries have ebooks that your kids can check out to read.  Quite a few of the kids I have worked with in the past would rather read on a device, than hold the actual book in their hands!  Either way, they’re reading!  Thank you for your comment.  I appreciate your honesty:)

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  2. I love this article! I have spent hours not only reading to my kids and teaching them to read, but also exploring and working on the best methods I could use to teach them to read. 

    When they were very young, we sang our way through one particular board book so many times that we wore it out and had to buy another one. Now, years later, they fondly remember those songs. 

    One of the biggest problems we have now, with our 16-yr-old daughter, is finding more books for her to read. I pull one off the shelf and she says, “I read that one already.” We have to get more! A love for reading is so important! 

    I very much agree with you on the importance of giving our children positive affirmations. That, as well as prayer, helps them to thrive!

    Talking with and listening to them is so important, too. I’m glad you mentioned this. Once they’re grown and on their own, we won’t be able to go back. I already wish we could go back to when they were toddlers and do some things differently. But we have today. I cherish the bedtime talks. That’s when my daughters especially really want to tell me what they’re thinking and feeling.

    Thanks for the great article!

    1. Hi Danette:)  You sound like an absolutely wonderful parent!  I have met so many people over the years who think that reading with their child is solely the responsibility of the school system.  This is so not true!  

      I also love the fact that your 16 year old daughter has read just about everything out there!  I believe that your kids will go far in life because you cared enough for them to pray for them, and spend quality time reading to, and with them.  Thank you for such a wonderful comment!

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  3. Really, the problem usually starts with the parents, not the children. That part stating the average amount of time parents talk to their children…I’ve heard it before a long time ago and forgot…but now you’ve reminded me and that just makes me sad. Weird as it is to many people now for some reason, I have a mighty desire to be a loving father in the future and spend time with whatever kids I have. Partially due to the fact that, due to my own experiences, I really think that parents don’t understand how the little things, like reading to or with your child about things they like, massively influences them to more positive attitudes and behaviours. So I feel that if I do get to become a parent, early on, the direction of my child live would be purely my responsibility. And so I intend to see it through, especially in areas where my parents never did.

    1. Hi Caldero:)  Kudos to you for wanting more for your “future” kids than you had in your childhood.  I believe that reading to your child at an early age not only sparks the interest in them to want to read, but it also creates that much needed bonding between parent and child. This is what life is about!  Thanks for stopping by, and for your insightful comment:)

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  4. Hi Suzi, 

    Your post is refreshing to me and probably other parents too that are questioning if we do enough or not with the reading stuff with his child. I got a 2 1/2 year boy and he loves to reads but it can be sometimes a struggle since he started to watch the TV (Paw Patrol, firetrucks, etc…). Sometimes we need to remind him the benifits of reading and the bad side of watching TV but they don’t really understand. Or let’s put it that way, they prefer something fast pace and flashy. Still, we don’t let down and at the end, he loves to read. 

    Your ABCmouse program seems to be awesome but unfortunately, since our first language is French, it won’t work. But! Our second language that we speak to him is spanish, so I will keep this website in my bookmarks for future use. Probably at the age of 3. Thanks for sharing this with us parents. All the best. Alvaro

    1. Hi Alvaro:)  Thank you so much for you comment!  Kudos to you and your wife for reading to your little boy:)  Even with all of the TV shows that he loves to watch, I have faith that someday, he will develop a deep appreciation for reading, if you keep reading to him. I wish you and your family all the best as you keep journeying down this road of life and learning…

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  5. Everyone wants their kid to be literate, and I’d always thought of this in terms of them picking up the skill for their own sake. But I hadn’t thought about it as thoroughly as you had, as far as their ability to integrate into the rest of society and how, as parents who are part of a society, we can stimulate our kids toward reading, effective comprehension, and a love of books and learning, in general. Meaning, I also hadn’t thought, until I had read your post, of what you had said: “It’s extremely important that your children see that you have the love of reading.  This will instill the importance of literacy and learning in them at a young age.” That is, young kids, emulating what they see all around them, can emulate those who are raising them–yes, I know this is obvious–and this includes a love of reading and this, in turn, will affect their reading comprehension, down the road. Thanks for an excellent post.

    1. Hi Kevin:)  Thank you so much for your very insightful comment!  You must definitely be a voracious reader:)  I believe that it is extremely important for kids to see their parents, caregivers, and teachers reading daily.  Kids do emulate pretty much everything they see around them.  So, if this is what they are seeing, then prayerfully, this is what they will have a desire to do, as well!  Best wishes to you, and thank you for stopping by…

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  6. MattMogul1 says:

    Hi Suzi, 

    Great post! I agree, reading is definitely a crucial part to the early stages in a child’s life. I remember as a child I used to hate when my parents got me books without pictures, being that I learned how to read from Dr. Seuss books. But what I soon realized was, reading books without pictures was actually the best thing for a child, because it allows them to imagine their own intricate story details to accompany the book’s description. I believe this actually has a lot to do with a person’s creativity and overall outlook on life. Thanks for sharing!

    Matt

    1. Hi Matt:)  Thank you for your insightful comment!  I totally agree with you about having kids move away from picture books once they’re ready.  This totally let’s them use their imaginations to create pictures in their minds about what the book is about.  A great imagination is a “must have” in this day and time!  Thanks again for stopping by…

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  7. Thank you for this great article, I start reading to my kids at very young age and I always tell the important of reading.

    I tell them that reading will help with their homework  and it will make them understand their text, now every weekend we make a trip to the library and we read  book the  they like , I let them choose books they want depending on their lexile.

    I know  sometime they want to read but I try to find a fun way to do it.

    you think getting books on tablets is something the you recommend or you prefer hard copies?, personally I like hard copies but my wife is been telling me to get digitals.

    1. Hi GV:)  Thank you so much for your comment!  It sounds like you have trained your kiddos the right way:)  In answer to your question, I think letting your kids read books on their devices is just fine.  Whether they’re reading a book that they can hold in their hands or an ebook really seems to be a matter of preference. Either way, their reading, and that’s the main goal!  Best wishes to you and your children:)

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  8. This is a beautiful site to encourage parents of young children to spend time with the kids reading and developing reading skills of comprehension and fluency. As a former teacher I cannot agree with you more. It is essential to their whole future to be able to read and to comprehend what they read.   I checked out  abcmouse and it looks like an amazing resource for kids to stimulate reading and enrich the reading experience. My grand children will be benefiting from that.

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information, a great site for young families and for grand parents.

    1. Thank you, Judy, for sharing your insights as a former teacher!  I totally agree with you that being able to read fluently, as well as understanding what is being read, is so very critical to the success of each child.  ABCmouse.com is a wonderful online reading resource, and I sincerely hope that your grandchildren enjoy having a great time as they learn how to read!  Kudos to you, as a grandmother:)

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

  9. Thanks for the informative post! Yes, every parent would want the best for their kids as far as making them become successful readers is concerned. I’ve seen many parents that registered their wards in expensive schools just to bring the best out of those children. I recently realized that opening a library for the kids at home would constitute another helping strategy to make the children read efficiently.

    I know it’s good to create the love of reading in children but I’ve not yet been able to get an atmosphere where children can develop a keen interest in reading on an everyday basis. Thanks for the awesome post!

    Israel Olatunji

    1. Hi Israel:)  Thank you so much for your comment!  I think your idea of creating a library at home is an excellent idea:)  Two of the kiddos who I work with every week actually have their own library, and it’s very extensive, with so many different genres of books!  I think their library is their favorite place in the house!  They are working about two years ahead of their peers, which is no surprise!  Again, thank you so much for your insight.

      Blessings:)

      Suzi

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