Articles about reading

Kumon's tips for improving your child's reading skills

Dec 2023
What better way to instil a love of reading than by reading together?

Choosing a book is the first step to developing a passion for reading, however, it is also important to ensure that your child looks forward to reading the book.

If they don't feel confident in their vocabulary, or they don't feel the start reading and get stuck in, the book will just collect dust on the shelf. To help you ignite your child's love of reading, we've shared some tips to help you improving their reading skills:

Read together
What better way to instil a love of reading than by reading together? A collaborative approach to reading can improve vocabulary, as your child will experience new words and their pronunciation by listening to you speak.

You can also discuss the meaning of new words which may have been skipped over if they were reading alone. Sharing this reading experience with your child will cause them to look forward to reading and it a wonderful way to spend quality time together.

A little, every day
Incorporate reading into your child's daily routine; whether this is done independently or together, having a set story time each day will encourage the urge to pick up a book and incite excitement when it's time to read.

Surround your children with reading material
Former American politician, Horace Mann, once said: "A house without books is like a room without windows."

He believed that the best way to encourage children to learn to read is by surrounding them with books. He also believed that a love of knowledge develops through reading.

With this in mind, having a good collection of books around your home means there is always a book to pick up. If your child is looking for an activity to do, you can encourage them to select a story to read and then tell you about after.

Read everywhere
There are opportunities to read everywhere you go, with no books necessary! When you're in the supermarket, encourage your child to read the packaging and aisle signs; when you're sitting in a waiting room, get them to read the posters and leaflets surrounding you; when you're walking down the street, they can read the road signs and shop names to you.

The opportunities are endless! Associating words with objects will develop their vocabulary and pronunciation, and eventually you will find them doing this without encouragement.

Join the library
A wonderful way to gain access to an endless supply of books is to join your local library. Your librarian will be able to provide suggestions on what to read, as well as what to read next.

You can make a trip to the library an exciting event - let your child look after their own library card, encourage them to take ownership of selecting which books to read, and help them to checking out and returning books by themselves.

As with reading, make the trip to the library a part of their routine, whether it be weekly or monthly, so that they look forward to picking new books and feel motivated to finish the ones they have already brought home to read.

At Kumon, we understand the importance and long-term benefits of reading. The Kumon English Programme works to develop a child's ability to understand a wide variety of texts, and to instil a life-long love of reading for educational, professional and personal enjoyment. Alongside the programme, our students - of both maths and English - are encouraged to select books from our Recommended Reading List. This collection covers a wide variety of genres, from non-fiction to fantasy, and there is something suitable for all ages and abilities.

A love of reading lasts a lifetime, so setting your child off on the right foot will ensure that they develop a long-lasting affinity with books.