To encourage a child to read full books independently, provide access to books, allow free choice of the books on offer, ensure that the child has time to read independently and guide and support their progress. Reading at the same time as the child can help to reinforce the behavior.
To teach a child to read full books by themselves, follow the steps below.
- Ensure the child has access to books
- Encourage freedom of choice while gently guiding
- Set aside time for the child to read
- Support learning
Surround the child with opportunities to read, either by supplying them with a small library of books they might enjoy, or by making regular trips to a local library. In the latter case, also take advantage of any independent reading programs that are on offer for children.
Allow the child to select her own books to read, but also support her choices by suggesting additional titles. To ensure a good balance of freedom and support, use the "Yours, Mine and Ours" strategy, which involves allowing the child to choose one book freely, then choosing one for her and finally choosing one together.
Ensure the child has quiet, undisturbed time to practice her reading. As a general rule of thumb, she should be allocated around 45 minutes at school and an hour at home daily.
Keep track of the child's progress in independent reading and lend support when necessary.