Many children are reluctant readers. They're uninspired by the content, struggle with vocabulary or are simply more interested in other things. It's possible your child has trouble putting down a book, but so many parents pull their hair out trying to figure out how to motivate their child to read.
So, how do you ensure your child soars in reading without making it seem like another mundane to-do-task? By getting your child to fall in love with reading.
Children need to read about what they enjoy. And, while focusing on reading skills is important, parents should first support their children in the topics that they love to make them feel more at ease with reading.
How to help:
- Model & Join In - When you read to your child, change the intonation of your voice and make your reading sound like you are talking. Making your reading sound smooth by putting your words together can help children hear how reading sounds.
- Writing about Reading - When children write about their favorite part of a story or change an ending to a story, they not only use words from the story that they have written (reading and writing connection), but also see themselves as authors.
- Read to a Buddy - Read aloud to a beloved stuffed animal that just listens and is present.
- Get a Library Card - Going to the library opens a child to a world of books.
- Read Every Day and Everywhere - Have books in your car, take books on trips, create a reading nook at home … the more a child practices their reading, the more they will identify themselves as a reader.
The goal of reading is not to read every word accurately, but it is to connect to characters and lessons in books which in turn, helps us understand ourselves more.
Reading is also a journey. Although everyone’s journey may not look the same, we are all on a journey of discovery. When we are a part of this process, we engage more, practice more, take risks, and know that reading can be achieved by everyone with help, encouragement and support from our biggest fans.
Cristina Iribarne has worked as a special education teacher, general education teacher and is currently the Lower School Reading Specialist at Oak Knoll School, where she has taught since 2010. She is a certified Reading Recovery teacher, implementing the Reading Recovery program at Oak Knoll School. She has two master's degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has earned these master's in Special Education with a specialization in Intellectual Disabilities/Autism and in Literacy Education.