Does your child struggle with reading and writing? Do they cringe at the thought of having to open a book or construct a sentence on paper?
When reading and writing become frustrating for your child, their confidence will be affected, too. Let’s explore ways that you can help boost your child’s reading confidence at any age.
Start with the Basics
A quick way to build confidence is to start with something familiar and less frustrating.
- Review familiar sight words.
- Practice forming letters.
- Practice writing basic words.
- Take turns reading a favorite book.
- Use easy readers to start.
- Discuss what your child knows about the topic.
- Focus on your child's favorite genre.
- Research familiar authors.
- Look at past writing assignments.
When approaching reading and writing at home, starting with the basics can help your child feel more connected with the materials. It can also help to create a less stressful atmosphere for both of you.
Slowly Introduce New Challenges
When trying difficult concepts, start slow. Doing so can help your child become more eager to challenge themselves. You want them to feel at ease before beginning a more challenging task.
- Focus on improving the basics.
- Incorporate familiar assignments or previous work.
- Review the writing process, including writing complete sentences or paragraphs.
- Read a short story or poem together or independently.
- Ask your child to add one more sentence/paragraph or a few more words to a writing assignment.
- Determine your child’s prior knowledge of the content within the reading or writing assignment.
- Start with punctuation errors.
- Have your child correct assignments before you check them over.
- Look at similar examples of writing assignments to get ideas and to avoid plagiarism.
Remember to keep these ideas in mind when introducing tasks that may lead to frustration. When your child feels more confident, they may ask to be challenged.
Make It Enjoyable
One of the best ways to learn or improve a skill is to make learning fun! Use the following tips and tricks to present reading and writing in alternative ways:
- Incorporate art tools into reading and writing time.
- Use online resources like YouTube.
- Offer plenty of brain breaks.
- Help your child create a dedicated learning space.
- Encourage your child to read a book or write a letter to a loved one.
- Use a favorite device rather than a traditional book.
- Allow your child to choose the writing topic.
- Encourage your child to explore different written works by their favorite authors.
- Incorporate music into reading and writing time.
- Visit the local library and help your child browse for a new book.
- Have your child create a PowerPoint slideshow, poster presentation, or a video about their book or writing assignment.
Get involved in your child’s enjoyment by asking them questions, changing your voice while reading, or acting out a part in a favorite story. Be creative and have fun!
Self-reflection is an important part of building your child’s confidence in reading and writing. Begin by giving them more control. Here are examples of self-reflection questions:
- What am I doing well?
- How can I improve? What goals can I set?
- What challenges have I overcome? What have I learned about myself?
It's important to be supportive during this process. Let your child know that they are learning, not failing. Being positive can help boost their confidence.
As you begin this journey with your child, remember to have confidence in yourself. Every bit of extra practice you initiate will help your child become a better reader or writer. You CAN do this, and so can your child. Now take these tips and start your journey today!
Erika Duso has more than 8 years of combined online and classroom teaching experience. She currently teaches first-grade English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Erika enjoys backpacking, reading, and looking for rocks in the Great Lakes.