Confidence in reading can often be a challenge for both students and families to overcome. Once a child is unsure of their abilities in reading, it becomes increasingly challenging to regain their confidence. In the book Raising Confident Readers, Dr. J. Richard Gentry provides a breakdown of phases in literacy development, along with tips that can be implemented across all stages of development. It is important to note that becoming a confident reader will take time and patience, for both the child and parents. Building confidence in reading does not necessarily require a special program or assistance from external sources – there are many things you can do at home to build confidence in young readers!
Here are 5 tips that you can implement to assist in raising a confident reader:
- Read aloud to your kids. Reading aloud to your kids assists in early literacy development, and kids often pick up on new words through repetition. Don’t be afraid to read the same story multiple times, the repetition of new and challenging words will help establish new connections.
- Have your kids read aloud to you. Reading to a small audience at home will help build confidence for when children are asked to read aloud at school. Any audience will help increase confidence, whether it be a parent, sibling, or even a pet!
- Have books around the house. Having lots of books, as well as other reading material, around the house will provide your child with opportunities to read whenever they choose. Having a variety of literary works (books, magazines, newspapers, comics) covering a wide range of material will also allow you child to find something they are interested in more easily.
- Establish a daily routine. Setting aside time each day for reading is a great way to get your child into the habit of reading on a daily basis. Select a time where you can wind down with your child and spend some time reading together or independently. This routine will motivate your child to read more, as well as increase their confidence as they practice each day.
- Put the kids in control. Allowing children to select their own book will increase their overall level of interest in reading. They may enjoy reading a range of different material or be selective in the type of story they choose, but any type of literary piece they choose to practice is perfectly okay – the more practice the better!
Raising Confidence Readers by Dr. J. Richard Gentry is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about confidence in reading and receiving more tips that can be implemented in the home.
Gentry, J. R. (2010). Raising Confident Readers: How to Teach Your Child to Read and Write--from Baby to Age 7. Da Capo Press.