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.