Saturday, January 19, 2008


I think most people have "buttons" and when those buttons are pushed, they get passionate. After assessing and reading with over 30 students in various grades this week, my button has been pushed and I'm about to step onto a soapbox about something I feel very passionate about...Reading.

Reading with children is so important! Students who read every night are better readers. If parents want their children to have more confidence and to excel in school, they need to read every night with their children regardless of how busy their lives are.

In some of the reading groups I work with, the students are below reading level for their grade. The students openly admit that they are not reading at home every night. They use every excuse possible (basketball practice, no one to read with, too busy, etc. etc.).

It's a big concern to teachers when students are not on reading level. The students seem to struggle along in other areas and eventually lose confidence in themselves. As a teacher, I like to see children who are confident, happy, and reaching their potential. When kids are not reading every night, this is not happening.

Way to go for those of you out there who are taking the time to read with your child. I can promise, it is making a difference. Not only are they improving in reading but I'm sure they enjoy the quality time they get to spend with you each night.

Here are a few suggestions to help make reading more enjoyable:

* Set aside at least 10 minutes a night to read WITH your child.
* Provide a positive & distraction free environment (turn off the phone & television).
* Instead of correcting every word they mispronounce, let them make mistakes and see if they catch it.
* Go on a field trip to your local library and let your children pick out books or magazines that interest them.
* Ask questions as they are reading to see if they are comprehending what they read.
* Model reading. Not only read aloud to them but also read on your own so they can see that it's important to you.

When students tell me they don't like to read, I tell them that it is only a matter of finding an author they like or a subject they enjoy learning about. When they discover one of those things, their "buttons" are pushed and they may even read without being asked.

Happy Reading!


Tristie said...

i will do it, lady, I promise! my kids love getting read to. love it. they love the library. i think they are super smart. i hope they will do well and excel in school. i think this is every parent's wish. maybe not, but i am willing to do what it takes to see it happen. i can see the influence reading has had already.

monica said...

Great suggestions. My daughter loves to play school and is really doing well with phonograms and spelling but we really do need to let her read the words she is learning to increase her confidence. Thanks for the reminder!

The one in charge said...

We're on it....or more accurately, Jer is. He reads to the kids EVERY night several books of their choice, many of which you bought for them! I think this is just the reminder parents need to hear. Every parent wants a confident, smart, successful child. Thanks

Spackmans said...

I totally know what you are talking about I teach 1st graders how to read everyday and I get so frustrated when I see those kids that struggle fall further and further behind because their parent will not take the time to read with them or help them with homework. If they are stuggling in 1st grade and give up, what will happen when things get really frustrating. I feel your pain I see it everyday too!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Reading is so important!! It is also important to learn to comprehend what you read. I never did learn that part too well. I am happy I took the time to read to you. (probably not as much as I could have but I tried)!! I want my grandkids to discover the joy of reading!! Love,Ma

nymanzanita said...

You are so right... I have no little ones but I truly believe that it is important to read with them. I always buy my nephews books and they love reading them every night with their parents. I will keep this post in mind when I have 20 little ones at my feet someday...ha.

Aunt Beaner said...

Amen Sister! Could you print that up and put it on billboards along all interstates in the USA? I might even help with the financing. This teacher sees the positive impact of reading with children every single day. I wish parents would have to take a "reading parenting class" before they could leave the hospital with their new babies.