To teach your child to read goes beyond learning the different sounds of the language, or making sure your child reads at least three books a day.
Matthew Scott, head of Pre-school Courses at the British Council, points out the most common mistakes parents make when teaching their little ones to read, and shows you what to do instead.
(Also read: Why reading is more important than tuition classes)
You miss out on pre-reading
Before you and your child start reading, give her a chance to predict what happens in the story. Ask her questions about the cover picture and the title of the story, such as “What do you think happens in this story?”. Having your child use prior knowledge helps her understand content better.
(Also read: Toddler doesn’t reading? Here’s what you should do)
You skip re-reading
Re-reading the same story is always a good idea. The more you read a story, the more confident and familiar your child will become with the words.
(Also read: 5 ways to teach your child to love reading)
You ask too few questions
Questions allow you to assess if your child understands what’s being read, but bear in mind not to interrupt their fluency with too many questions.
(Also read: 10 ways to help your kid get more out of reading)
You correct every mistake
Keep a record of words they stumble over. If a common pattern emerges, you can return to correcting it later.
You over-pitch the level
Choose a text that is suited to your child. Turn to the back of the book, where a recommended age group is usually indicated. If the level exceeds her ability, she may become demoralised.
You stick to the same topics
Children often have their favourite topics, but don’t be afraid to gently steer them towards other areas. Start with exploring similar topics, such as moving from dinosaurs to marine animals.
You interrupt your child
If she struggles to read a word, give her time to get it right.
You ignore illustrations
Illustrations are more than just pretty pictures. They guide your child’s understanding of, and interest in, a story.
You put the book down quickly
After completing a story, take the opportunity to ask your child a few questions and ask her what she enjoyed about it.
You overlook the voices of characters
When speech occurs in the story, vary your tone. This makes a story feel more alive.
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