“In the pages of a book anyone can be a great explorer or become their dream. The power of education and daydreaming creates the innovators of the future.”—Archer Sierra
Reading and your child's interest in reading was on my local news last evening.
I can’t tell you how many times, as a Reading Specialist, I have been asked by parents, “My child does not like to read. What can I do?”
First and foremost I ask them:
- “Do you know your child’s reading ability level? An informal reading assessment would be recommended.”
- “Does your child struggle with reading? An informal reading assessment can pinpoint your child’s weak areas in their reading process. Extra reading intervention is recommended before they end up playing a challenging game of catch-up.”
- “Does your child have access to books at home?”
- “Does your child have a library card?”
- “Does your child see you and others reading at home?”
- “Does your child have a comfortable reading nook at home that invites them to read?”
- “Do you read with/to your child?”
- “Do you engage and include your child in conversations?”
- “Do you talk ‘with’ them or do you talk ‘to’ them more at home?”
- “Do you know what things your child likes to do, or is interested in?”
In many instances, your child not wanting to read is primarily a ‘motivation’ challenge! Now what?
Here are some TIPS for parents on how to encourage your child to read:
- Have story time or read aloud with your child every day. Yes, even older kids need you to do this.
- Be animated during story time. Bring those stories to life. You know you have secretly wanted to be an actor all your life. Or, tape yourself reading a story that your child can watch whenever they want.
- Take photos with or without your child on your smartphone or camera and with your child have them write a story to go with the pictures. Let them add illustrations of their own.
- Don’t be afraid to read books to your child that are above their reading ability level. This way you can explore their interests and dreams regardless of their reading level. Remember, oral language comprehension is always higher than our reading comprehension.
- Know what your child is interested in.
- Create a special place to read and display lots of different kinds of reading material…appropriate materials of course!
- Lastly, don’t be afraid of digital books. I do not recommend a steady diet of online reading. Science shows that holding an actual book in your hands and turning the pages is invaluable! But, to spark your child’s interest in reading, by all means use the tools you have available. Children and older children get excited when they explore. Even if you don’t have computer and internet access at home, there is always your local library. Here are some suggested sites for finding books online that read stories to you child or ones that they can read and turn the pages. Some are membership or subscription based with fees to purchase some downloads. Check it out carefully. I do recommend the variety of choices in reading books though that can be found on these sites. Do an internet search of your own for more sites.
- www.storylineonline.net –famous people reading children’s books aloud
- www.speakaboos.com – classic children’s stories, songs, fables, folk tales and nursery rhymes
- www.readtomelv.com –celebrities reading stories online
- www.inklesstales.com –offers lots of online activities along with audio stories
Reading Lasts A Lifetime! Start your child’s reading journey at birth.
Need an Interest Inventory to use with your child? CONTACT MRS. C at email@example.com/ subject: reading inventory and I will email you an interest inventory for you to use.