Many parents are overly concerned about comparing the child’s reading skills to other kids the same age. While reading skills benefit most areas of life, many children show aptitudes in other areas of reading besides just memorizing the words.
Reading skill levels are based on classroom averages. It makes it easier for the schools to teach by having children grouped by overall reading skills, but this comparison doesn’t accurately depict how well the child retains what they are reading.
Some kid’s do well reading out loud to their parents or in front of the classroom. Their sentences flow and they seldom struggle with the words. But, when they reach the end of the page or the story, they have no idea what they just read.
Others struggle when they read aloud. It could be shyness or lack of confidence. But, this same child might be able to recap the entire story he has read silently.
The age when children are ready to read also happens at different stages of childhood. Those parents who have more than one child know that while one of the kids is always ready to snuggle in for a reading session, the other child may be more interested in dancing after rainbows.
The main focus should be on making reading as rewarding as possible for each child. Learn about the different tools that can be used by the child learning to read. If a word seems to be giving the child problems, it’s okay to help them out if the word seems unusually difficult. Just don’t get in the habit of providing the answer before the child has had a chance to discover the answer for himself.
If the child has a hard time recognizing the word by sounding it out, suggest other tips that will help him increase his reading ability.
Encourage the child to look for a hint to the word in the illustration on the page. It’s not cheating; it’s a tool the child can use to solve a problem.
Encourage the child to skip over the word and continue reading to the end of the sentence or paragraph. This gives the child a sense of what the word might be when he comes back to it to work it out.
A child often feels that they are only capable of reading school materials. Once they realize that they can read the back of the cereal box, their whole world can open up as they push boundaries to read more exciting things. Speak with the teacher or librarian about books that might interest your child.