Healthy Vision Advice – Tips for Reading

Reading Tip #1

Research has shown that visualisation increases enjoyment, comprehension & reading scores.

“Those who cannot imagine, cannot read” (Elliot Eisner)

Kids love to be read to. Ask your child to close their eyes & listen carefully. After you read a passage, stop and share what you imagined; what the characters looked like, what they were doing…. Then ask your child what they saw? Talk about “making movies” in their head as you read together. You can even act out some of the scenes with imaginative play!

This is the power of imagination & reading!

Reading Tip #2

Develop visualisation and imagination by encouraging play-time. Turn off the TV, computer and any other screen-based devices first! This is a must as these are PASSIVE stimulation to your child’s brain.  Do not mistake an “educational” program as being better for your child’s brain, than ACTIVE play. A child’s brain develops best through movement and experience.

There will be time enough in the future for your child to develop their skills at using a computer – likely they will be connected to one in some way for the rest of their life! So for now, allow their brains to develop through real world experience.

Reading Tip #3

Read to your child, even as an infant. When you read to your baby, you start them off on the visualisation track. How? You reinforce so many concepts of reading – turning the page & reading from left to right, or pointing to pictures on the page, starting on the left. They learn speech patterns & sounds. Soon, your baby will start to imitate by babbling & pointing too.

Reading Tip #4

The aim of reading is to gain meaning. A good reader will anticipate the meaning of a story, and then read to confirm (or alter) this as they move their eyes across a page. Encourage this concept from an early age with your child. You can do this is a number of ways:

  • Ever noticed how your child loves to have your read the same book (over, and over, and over…)? This is because they can anticipate the story and engage in it further. Reading your child’s favourite book repeatedly to them is a great way to encourage future reading skills.
  • As you read a story, before you turn the page, occasionally ask your child “what do you think will happen next?” It doesn’t matter whether they are right or wrong. Rather this is encouraging them to think about reading as an “unfolding of information” – and they look forward to the next piece. This also develops their lateral thinking and imagination too!

Why is visualisation important?

Research has shown that visualisation strategies can:

  1. Heighten motivation, engagement and enjoyment of reading, especially struggling readers
  2. Improve literal comprehension
  3. Increase the ability to elaborate on characters, scenes, actions and ideas
  4. Improve a reader’s ability to share, critique, and revise what has been learned with others
  5. Improve test scores on various reading measures, including standardised tests.

Note:- these strategies are general advice. If your child is not performing as expected in school, first talk to your teacher about your concerns.  A vision examination is recommended for a child not performing at school to help out rule vision problems as a contributing factor.

Paul Graham

Paul believes that what he truly practices is “Optometry for the Individual”. Whether it be vision training, glasses, custom or disposable contact lenses, orthok or precision tinted lenses, Paul will consult with you, completely assess your vision and custom design a treatment approach that is right for you. If you want a fresh approach, then Paul is the Optometrist for you!