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You can help your child read more successfully in many fun and easy ways. Rather than making your child feel pressured to read or forcing your child to read, start by encouraging reading in fun ways. Besides just reading to your child nightly, consider letting your child also have a few extra minutes before lights out to read on his or her own.
Time to read alone, even if it's really more about looking at the pictures, than actual reading, helps establish reading as a part of your child's identity. The important thing is to let your child choose the book for reading alone. It can be a library book that he or she recently chose or a much-loved book that you've read together many times.
Another good way to help your child read more successfully is to help increase word knowledge in a way that is meant to be fun rather than forceful. All you have to do is cut pieces of cardboard into cards and clearly write words of household objects on them and then place them on the matching object. You could do this with one room at a time and leave the signs up for a few days in each room, if possible, so that your child can learn the words. When it's time to take the signs down, the child could reinforce the learning by drawing a picture of each item. For example, when the word "bed" is removed from the child's bed, he or she can add the card to a scrapbook page and draw a picture of the bed beside the word.
Helping your child read more successfully also means showing him or her how important reading is to you. Modeling reading yourself is important. You can accomplish this by choosing books yourself when you and your child visit the library and by reading newspapers daily. In short, don't tell your children how important reading is, show them!
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