Reading is a fundamental skill for a good education. It also opens the door to a lifetime of adventure, research, and enjoyment. However, not every child is overjoyed when learning to read. Some would rather skip reading lessons and do not seek to read anything outside of required lessons. As homeschool moms, we need to cultivate a love for reading in order for it to become a lifelong habit. Here are some tips for encouraging your reluctant reader to fall in love with the wonderful world of reading.
Spend quality time together reading. Read aloud as a family, share bedtime stories, and read beautiful poetry over tea. Reading should never just be a subject we endure and conquer. It should be an event and part of your family culture.
Before radio and television, reading was entertainment. The family would gather together and listen to a story, then play some music and sing. These moments are just as powerful today. Our children need to see us reading and experience the joy of reading as a family. Even after children can read independently, reading together is important.
Sometimes, the frustration with learning to read is that new readers can’t read what they want. The simple, phonics based readers are wonderful for learning to read but rarely have much of a plot or story line. So, children go from reading wonderful stories with captivating prose, gorgeous pictures, and clever rhymes; to “See the dog. The dog is big. Dog, dog, dog.”
Audio books allow children to read independently at a level that holds their interest. Also, listening to higher level language is essential to language development. They can continue to love reading, even if the mechanics of reading with their eyes is difficult. The magic of literature will not be lost in a sea of three word sentences.
Share Great Literature
The phrase “as long as they are reading” is counter productive. Getting children to “read anything” really will not increase their reading skills, nor encourage them to become lifelong readers. Children will thrive on great literature and timeless poetry. That is not to say that children can only read books by Austen, Shakespeare, and Chesterton. However, to really nurture a reader make sure they are being exposed to truly, good literature. This can be done by audio book or read aloud. However you decide to immerse your child in the world of great books, do it! Don’t wait for high school or high level reading. Do it now!
Give Your Reader Time
Reading is a skill that takes time, and also needs to happen at the perfect time. Not every 6 year old will be able to read. In fact, the normal range for learning to read is between 4.5 years old and 9 years old. So, if your seven year old is still struggling and doesn’t want to read, perhaps he just isn’t ready. Taking a break, and trying again in six months may be the best thing you can do. Pushing children who aren’t ready to read makes reading something they resent. They know that they can not do it, and find no joy in it. Stop your phonics lessons, ease off on spelling and leveled readers. Keep reading to your child, and give him room to grow. No matter what age children learn to read, they are generally on the same level by age 11. Slowing down now is not holding your child back or making him “fall behind.” It just may be what he needs to soar when he is ready.
How do you get your children to fall in love with reading?
A homeschool mom and devoted lifelong learner, Jennifer Elia serves the homeschool community at Sound Foundations Homeschool. She is a blogger, best selling author, and homeschool consultant. Jennifer is on a mission to help every mom get the tools and support she needs to easily build a thriving and successful homeschool for any child. Jennifer lives in New Jersey with her husband and their four children who she has been educating at home for over a decade.
Read more from Jennifer Elia https://soundfoundationshomeschool.com
Connect with her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/soundfoundationshomeschool