7 easy ways to improve the reading skills of primary school students

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Nov 3, 2023
Learning, School

Reading in primary school opens the door to various learning opportunities, enhancing knowledge and nurturing essential life skills. The benefits of reading include brain stimulation, memory enhancement, improved comprehension, vocabulary enrichment, stronger writing abilities, increased focus, analytical thinking, and reduced stress. 

Your child’s ability to read and comprehend is critical to their future learning. According to the World Bank, all children should be able to read by the time they reach 10 years of age, or latest by the time they end primary school. While the early years of your child are of great importance for their overall development, the primary years are crucial for setting the right foundation for higher grades.

Here are seven easy and interesting ways to improve the reading skills of your child.


1. Read in portions: Break a long segment into smaller pieces.

While you may buy the best books for your child, they may see finishing the complete book as a task. For some children, this could also develop an aversion to reading. To avoid this, you may start with asking them to read in portions. Dividing the reading of the book into chapters, pages or paragraphs is a good way to make your child develop an interest in reading. You’ll see a steady improvement in their comprehension, vocabulary or simply the reading skills.  

2. Read together with your child: Correct them where required, listen to them.

There are multiple benefits of reading, including the opportunity to bond with your child. Reading together with your child can be fun, also allowing you to correct them when they make mistakes. Providing your child with feedback is important but do it in a way that won’t crush their self-esteem and confidence. You can also nudge them gently to continue reading for a little longer as you listen to their favourite characters and moments from their favourite books.

3. Personalise the reading: Choose stories that align with their interest areas. 

Asking your child about their topics of interests, favourite characters and encouraging them to read books that interest them is a great way to personalise their learning. Good books to read are available everywhere in the market but what matters is your child’s involvement with those stories. As long as they enjoy the stories, they will continue to read the books.

Also read: Top trends in education for 2022 and beyond

4. Act the stories out: Helps if your child is an auditory learner.

If your child is an auditory learner, silent reading may not be the best choice. Such children follow spoken directions and are often heard saying, ‘tell me again!’ Act out the stories to your child and you may see a keen interest in topics or books that they would have otherwise left untouched.

5. Explore beyond books.

Many times, parents expect reading should be book reading. However, reading shouldn’t be limited to books. Your child may yet not be ready to pick up a book but if they are showing interest in reading a newspaper clipping or a hoarding, encourage them to do so. 

6. Make it a part of their routine as well as yours.

Even if your schedule is choc-a-bloc, you’ll need to set aside time to develop a daily reading routine for your child. Children imitate their parents and follow what they see. Chances are if they see you reading daily, they will pick up the books they have to read by themselves.

Dedicated reading time increases your word bank multifold

7. Visit the library regularly.

Make regular visits to the neighbourhood library. Allow your child to select books according to their interest. Try to select the books together – be it fiction or non-fiction, a sci-fi or a fairytale – let them read and explore. Moreover, library visits introduce students to a range of reading materials, over and beyond books.

Appreciate your child

No matter how much or less your child reads in a day, appreciate and encourage their efforts and reading habits. This would motivate them to pick up more books.  Encourage them to share their favourite books with friends and family. A discussion around their favourite character or book will also allow them to speak more freely about what they have read. 

At GIIS, we place a strong emphasis on improving our students' reading abilities. In addition to traditional books, our students have the opportunity to engage with online apps like Epic, which offer a wide range of free online books spanning various genres. Furthermore, we organise book reading sessions, such as those in the PYP programme  involving parents to foster love for reading among our students.

“There is a regular reading session in her class, which was how she got into the habit of reading. Ms. Kanika gave her an “I Love Books” medal that made her love reading more and more. Since reading is the basis of every subject, we really appreciate Ms. Kanika’s efforts in encouraging Fuuko,” said Ms. Yuki Watanabe, mother of Fuuko, a PYP student at GIIS.

GIIS also offers English Language support for primary students who are non-native speakers. To know more about learning opportunities at GIIS for primary school students, do not hesitate to contact our friendly admissions counsellors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can parents help improve their child's reading skills at home?

Parents can improve their child's reading skills at home by reading together, creating a reading-friendly environment, practicing phonics, using educational apps, and making reading enjoyable through storytelling and book discussions.

2. How can schools create a supportive environment for improving reading skills among primary school students?

Schools can create a supportive environment for improving reading skills among primary school students by offering diverse reading materials, implementing engaging reading programmes, providing individualised attention, and fostering a love for reading through positive reinforcement and a nurturing atmosphere.

3. What are some common challenges faced by primary school students in developing reading skills?

Some common challenges faced by primary school students in developing reading skills include difficulty with phonics, limited vocabulary, and lack of reading comprehension strategies. These challenges can be addressed through targeted instruction and practice tailored to improve reading skills in students.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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