One of the biggest skills elementary school students develop is how to read thoroughly yet efficiently. Reading is one of the greatest skills students will need as they go through their education. It’s essential to be able to determine which information in a text is important and which is not as well as to be able to read large amounts of text relatively quickly in order to complete homework assignments in a timely manner. However, for many young kids reading can feel like a chore, something they try to avoid. Instilling a love of reading helps young students develop into stronger and more enthusiastic readers as they continue their education.

 Let kids read for fun

In the school environment, there are mainly two types of reading. The first is to gather information from non-fiction and informative texts, including directions in a school assignment.  The second includes reading chapter books that are age appropriate that ignite the imagination and create a moving picture in the student’s mind. All too often, students don’t have much of a say in what text they read on a day-to-day basis. In order to instill a love of reading, students should have a say in the books they read in their spare time. Each individual student will gravitate towards different types of books with different characters and settings. The important thing is that they’re reading and they love it!

 Maintain a healthy pace

Students will also start to avoid reading if they’re being pushed too quickly into difficult texts. Everyone learns to read at their own pace and some students will need a little more time than others. Students develop reading comprehension skills in their own time, but they can get frustrated if the timeline is faster than what they need. Setting a student’s learning pace is something best determined through conversations with a child’s classroom teacher and/or reading tutor.

Take breaks when needed

When students are learning something new, their brains get tired more quickly than if they’re doing an activity they are already skilled at. It’s important for students to be able to take breaks here and there so their mind has a rest and they are able to absorb the information they’ve learned earlier in the day. The specific amount of time that a student can work on reading comprehension in one sitting will be different for each student. This is also a situation where a conversation with the child’s reading tutor can be helpful. Tutors, as well as the classroom teacher, will be able to help parents determine when a student starts to get frustrated with material and needs to take a break as well as how long that break should be.

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