Factors that influence children's reading skills

Written by jennifer elrod
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Factors that influence children's reading skills
(little boy reading a book image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com)

Children start learning language from birth. As they grow and develop, language becomes more important. By the time they reach preschool age, children should be learning the letters of the alphabet, as well as the letter sounds. Learning to sound out words is the foundation of reading. There are many things that can influence your child's reading skills. As a parent or educator, knowing what to do to help improve a child's reading skills is extremely beneficial.


Having a disability or impairment can influence a child's reading ability. Some of the most common include ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), autism, dyslexia and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). These impairments can lower a child's reading level. ADHD and ADD make it hard for a child to concentrate on a task for any lengthy period of time. This is especially true if there is noise or commotion in the classroom. Autism can affect a child's reading skills because this condition makes it hard for the child to interact with others, meaning special teaching techniques may be needed to teach this child how to read. Dyslexia is a specific reading disability, caused by a brain impairment that makes it difficult to translate images to language, which makes it hard for a child to spell and read.

These disorders do not mean it is impossible for the child to read, but it will affect how well he reads and what reading level he can reach.

Amount of Instruction and Practice

The amount of reading practice children get influences their reading skill level. The more one-on-one instruction students receive, the better their reading skills are. Instruction should consist of teaching phonics, sight words and fluency practice. As teachers focus on reading skills every school day, students learn new vocabulary words and get better at reading comprehension. Students should also practice reading. Daily reading will greatly improve their reading skills. Answering questions about the subject matter will test to see if they are listening and comprehending what is being read. This way the students understand that reading is something that holds meaning and knowledge, not just a cluster of sounds that need to be sounded out.

Age-Appropriate Books at Home

The number of age-appropriate books in a child's home can influence his reading skills. Access to books that interest him will help develop a sense of reading appreciation. Books should be seen as something enjoyable and fun. When children have books in their home, they are more likely to sit down and read them. Parents can and should encourage an appreciation for reading. Reading a book to your child before bedtime is a great way to share the love of reading. He can also read to you to practice his reading skills.

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