Encourage my child to read

by | Dec 14, 2022

Since Sue & Dave opened Kip McGrath Derby South in October 2011 they have recognised the power harnessed by every child who is able to read fluently. In educational terms, the ability to read proficiently cannot be underestimated. Encouraging a reluctant and struggling reader to become a fluent and regular reader can transform a young person’s educational journey. At Kip we always encourage each child to read.

This is the same underlying philosophy that Kip McGrath started out with internationally in 1976. Kip’s stated ideology was that “every child can read if taught properly”. This remains true almost 46 years later. Encouraging your child to read can produce a lifelong love of learning. What a gift to give them! Something that will deliver a benefit as they develop into their own adult lives.

Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops their imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes each day can have a big impact on all children, not just at their current age, but throughout their lives. In Kip lessons, we always focus on the basics and developing key reading skills. Your role as a parent is many and varied. You need to be a master of all trades all of the time. Your skills as a parent, nurse, counsellor, teacher, etc are always in demand.

How can you actually encourage your child to read? Sue & Dave recognise that this is an individual journey you’re on, as each child is different.  For some children, they will simply need a pointer in the right direction and away they go. They’ll find a topic they’re interested in and drag you along to the library to find a suitable book. Other children require a little more persuasion to pick up a book as they can seem to have too many other distractions. Some help with managing their time can provide them with the stimulus to enjoy reading. Reluctant readers are a much tougher nut to crack.

Over the last 11 years with Kip we’ve really seen these help children improve their reading significantly. We have the flexibility to work individually with each child to improve their reading. Here are Sue & Dave’s top tips for success in encouraging your child to read.

  • Read for a few minutes every day; be consistent
  • Find an author and/ or subject which interests your child
  • Try and remove distractions for a short time
  • Pick times that best fit your daily routines
  • Take time out to relax by reading with your child. Before bed can often work well and help with sleep.
  • Electronic books, e.g., Kindle, are ok
  • Read together; take it in turns
  • Pictures can help readers to be more attentive
  • Change your voice to bring the characters to life
  • Reading aloud is good
  • Provide a variety of reading materials, e.g., magazines and newspapers, fiction and non-fiction
  • Find a relaxing environment for your reading time, away from distractions
  • Use your local library. It is a fabulous source of great reading material, including online
  • Look for and read print in the environment; e.g., street or shop signs, travel timetables

Here are some things you can do to develop your child’s reading further:

  • When your child has read a book, sit together to discuss it. Possibly the main characters or how the story unfolded. Were there any surprises?
  • Talk about character traits. Are they good or bad characters? What is your child’s opinion of the characters?
  • Stop part way through a story and ask what they think might happen next
  • Act out stories using puppets or toys, or through role play
  • Retell stories, verbally or through writing
  • Encourage your child to write or tell you about their favourite book. What did they enjoy most? Perhaps one day, they might think of writing a book themselves?
  • Use books to stimulate other activities e.g. craft activities, games or cooking

At Kip, we apply these techniques weekly to develop a love of reading in your child. Our annual summer book gift to each student is an example of how we do this. They even get to choose their own book!

Enjoyment is the real key to reading. Having fun will be the motivation to read again. Find out what works for your child and then repeat it. Reading together can have the added benefit of strengthening parent-child relationships too!

If your child is still having difficulties reading after trying these tips, there are further ways they can be supported. Every child can be encouraged to read. As always, feel free to talk to us about any concerns you may have.

Kip Derby South Tutoring

Dave & Sue Priestley

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