Reading is a subject that seems to be a love or a hate. Throughout schools everywhere there are kids protesting their assigned reading. In preschool and kindergarten children are bringing home reading homework in the form of site words and little stories. I have received letters from teachers explaining that my child isn’t reading up to level yet, and I know I am far from the only one. In kindergarten my child just turned 5, and everyone was worried about her reading.
FACT: Reading is developmental and most children are reading by age 7
So, right now if you are reading this and your child is younger than 7, take a big deep inhale and exhale. Keep plugging along because your child may not have hit that developmental readiness needed for reading and that is ok!
Reading is complex in nature. A child must understand the different variations of letter sounds, and sentence structure. The child must also be able to fluently string these words together, and then understand what all of these words mean. Reading is not straight forward or simple for most children, and that is ok!
However, reading can be loved by ALL people, children and adults alike.
It isn’t always the easiest to foster a love for reading in a child who is reluctant to pick a book up and read a couple words. Sometimes we as parents must meet our children in the middle. There are ways to help your child begin a life long relationship with reading without nagging them to read a book!
What can you do?
First, If they are younger, read with them! If you have them pick out a book to read and you sit with them reading to them, they are likely to begin that love. Be consistent with it!
Second, For older children, read with them, but have them read some of the words to you. Maybe read every other paragraph to each other and keep it enjoyable!
Third, Try DIFFERENT book styles! Maybe your child loves a good mystery, but some children really enjoy reading a book filled with various facts on a topic! Help your child to explore various topics and styles of books. Every child is different and what one child may love, another child may hate!
The next one doesn’t apply to all, but it does apply to many!
Fourth, Consider any learning difficulties. If your child has ADHD, Autism, or any other learning disability, they may need some extra help. This is ok! All of my children have ADHD, and the age they began to comprehend what they were reading was all different However, they ALL developed the skill to comprehend on reading level with time and patience. Maybe your child needs a good audio book going in the background to help them!
Lastly, how often do they see YOU reading? We all know that kids will mimic what they see. Children want to be like their parents in more ways than we even realize sometimes. How often are you displaying to your child that reading is important. As adults know that reading is a fundamental skill for the real world and our child’s growing mind, but we often forget that children are not able to think like this yet. If we aren’t SHOWING them that reading should be a part of our lives, then they are not likely to put importance on the subject. Can you recall the last book you read? Do you read in front of you child?
Reading can be loved by anyone if the importance of reading is portrayed early on. Every child will be different and that is ok! Just as we all learn to walk and talk at different ages, we all learn to read at different ages.
Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think