Reading is not just important for subject English, it crosses over the entire school curriculum. Children who enter secondary school with a below level reading age, find it difficult to access the school curriculum and this includes the math curriculum. In order to access and understand the curriculum children do need to be able to understand the vocabulary needed and have a good level of vocabulary. Those children who read well from an early age tend to do well across the entire curriculum. Whilst those who are below their age level for reading, struggle to engage with the curriculum.
When should a child start to read?
In my opinion all children should be introduced to books as soon as they can sit up and hold a book\” They obviously will not be reading at one years old, but you can read to them and point to the words. By doing this your child will begin to read from a young age. Some children can read a few words from the age of four, some can by the age of three. The key is not to be restrictive. Read to them and enjoy stories together. Point to words as you read and you will be surprised at how quickly they will begin to read.
How children reading and maths are interlinked
Reading and maths are interlinked, just like the rest of the curriculum. As I stated above, those children who can read well tend to do well in all aspects of the secondary school curriculum. Maths requires students to understand the question and interpret information. If they cannot read well, how can they do this. Research has found that a good maths students will also be a good reader.
Don\’t make reading a test
Teaching your child to read does not just start with you teaching them. It starts with them gaining a love of looking, feeling and listening to books. Many parents make reading a quiz , a test of the child\’s ability. I don\’t think even an adult would like to be tested each time they read a book. Reading then becomes a source of anxiety for children. Reading should be a joint effort and fun. Something we do together. Reading should be enjoyable and something that children enjoy and want to do.
There are many well structured after school reading classes that aim to draw the children to books. They help children with diction, idioms and phrases. For young children, these classes can be fun with animated characters and pictures. Illustrated picture books, rhymes, silly songs and pretend stories all attract young children. Use creativity to capture the child\’s vivid imagination. Contact your local library.
Pique your child\’s interest in reading
If your child has a favourite character, pick a series of books that features this character. For my son, it was Spider-man. Thanks to friendly neighbourhood spidey, my son latched on to comics fairly early in his childhood. Now, as a teenager he still reads comics!
A skill like reading cannot be learnt in isolation. Do not leave all the hard work to the school. Pick up books that you think your child might like. The Internet is also a rich resource of reading games
that will attract little children to the fine art of reading.
Develop and guide your child\’s reading, so that they can access all areas of the curriculum in secondary school. The relationship between successful exams and literacy is very closely related, so please make sure your child is given the gift of strong reading skills.