Critical Reading: Encouraging a Love of Reading in Your Child by Shirley Young

The SAT is composed of three main sections: the Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing sections. The Critical Reading section of this test is further broken down into two important components, that of sentence completion and analysis of reading passages. Encouraging a love of reading is crucial for instilling important analytical skills that will help your student to succeed in school and on the Critical Reading section of the SAT. It will also have the added benefit of helping your child to become a more well-rounded, capable, and successful student. Here are some fun ways that you can help your child to read more, have fun, and gain building blocks on their road to success.

1. Library Summer Reading Programs

Reading programs were developed as a way to encourage children to explore the world of reading and to become more comfortable with using the library. In America, 95% of public libraries have such a program. Each summer these libraries put on themed reading contests in which students receive a way to keep track of books they have read, and to eventually win prizes as they make progress in their repertoire. This is a fun, rewarding way to encourage kids to be more involved in reading and to take pride in their accomplishments.

2. Home Book Projects

Oftentimes reading can become a chore for children who were not born with an innate love of reading. For these kids, home-made book projects can make the process more entertaining and also help more information be processed and remembered. Some ideas for reading projects can be making a collage of the main themes and events in the book, a poster-board detailing all of the major characters and their roles, or creating with a board-game that is based on the events that happened in the reading. Coming up with creative ways to interpret the material in a book will help encourage your child to become more plugged in to the reading, and he or she will therefore be more analytical and able to think outside of the box.

3. Family Reading Night or Book Club

Making reading into a family affair allows you to be right there next to your child as he or she embarks on the journey to becoming a great reader. Because you are reading the same material, you are able to discuss questions and propose ideas together, and to guide your child through any tricky areas. Having a parent there to answer questions ensures that your child does not simply glide over parts of the book that are hard to understand and, subsequently, lose out on forming critical reading skills. As important as it is for a student to have help in other academic areas such as math and science, it is also incredibly important for the student to feel comfortable analyzing and cataloging information that is gained through reading. Being able to do so will affect all areas of the child’s life, both in academics and in how he or she interacts with the surrounding world. This is the beginning of your child’s journey to becoming a well-rounded, successful student, and now is the perfect time to start.