Paired Reading – Two Heads are Better Than One

Children - Paired Reading

Asterix? Well, if We Really Must!

Kids are as different as us adults. It’s great that we’re all so different and unique – makes the world a funnier place! Because we are different, parents should try various methods to get children interested in reading. One of the methods that have been around for quite a while is Paired Reading.

It’s a great method for parents to help their children with reading. And there’s not much effort going into Paired Reading apart from patience… but I think I’ve said that already… no need to re-iterate myself, otherwise it makes me feel like a parrot and that’s really not a good idea 🙂

Necessary Tools

So, what do we need for try some Paired Reading? Firstly, a child in the same room and paying attention. Difficult, I know! Secondly, a book that you both like. I know I might be asking for too much but if you give it a second thought, many children’s books are actually very enjoyable, even for an adult. The most important thing, of course, is whether your child can relate to the book. Let the child choose the book – that way he will feel that he’s in charge, that he’s the important one. It’s a confidence booster that helps reading tremendously.

This method is meant for giving a child the basic reading skills. Once he’s acquired confidence, he’ll be happy to do reading on his own.

Start the reading session by creating interest in the book. Talk about the book, discuss the pictures. Find a nice quiet place. Yes, and that TV should be switched off, obviously!

A Book a Day Keeps Boredom Away

Practise makes perfect – you need to allocate time for paired reading, preferably, every day. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy mammoth session that leaves you both exhausted and grumpy. Although, eventually, you will find to your own sheer joy, that the child doesn’t want to stop after the 10 minutes-or-so that you’ve allocated.

There are two ways how you can read in pairs. The one that many experts suggest is that you both read simultaneously – slowly and clearly to make sure all words are pronounced properly and understood correctly. If a child makes a mistake, say the word correctly and ask him to repeat after you.

If you notice that the child struggles with a particular word, don’t push it. Repeating the word 100 times in a row will most likely leave you both frustrated. Leave it be, you’ll get there eventually. Tomorrow, or next week, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you both have an enjoyable experience.

I think that’s where many parents get it wrong when helping their children to read: our main goal is to teach children to enjoy reading. A schooly atmosphere and a nasty-teacher-approach will work the opposite way.

First Me Then You

The other way of Paired reading is that you read a passage first and then ask the child to repeat. Then move on to the next passage and do the same.

Which way is better? Your way. Find out what works better for you and your child. Reading in is fun. Paired reading is double fun!

Have you tried paired reading with your children? Which books are your favourites? Please share your experience by adding comments!

Pic by Marind is waiting for les tambours de la pluie via Creative Commons




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