Now that school is back in full swing and we’re all getting back into our “school-time routines,” I thought I’d take a moment to talk to you about one of my passions….READING! I’d love to share some tips with you about how to teach your kids to be independent readers and in turn…life long learners.
Reading is such a huge part of our lives. It’s in almost everything we do and of course it’s everywhere we go. Chrissy and I are very passionate about reading. I enjoy reading everything from self-improvement books to the Harry Potter Series. As far as I’m concerned there’s never enough time in the day to read as much as I’d like. At any given time, I have 3-4 books that I’m reading. I just can’t get enough!!
I love reading so much and think it’s SOOO important that a few years back I decided to go back to school and get my masters degree in…Reading and Literacy of course!!! My two years of studying taught me a TON, but I’ve still got so much to learn about teaching children to love reading. My hope is to foster an independence in ALL my students that they can carry with them when they leave my class.
Much of our attitudes about reading comes from what we see at home. Think back to when you were a kid…Did your parents read a lot? Not just to you, but for their own enjoyment? Our mom loves to read…This made a huge different in my attitude about reading; which turned out to be a really big deal.
Reading didn’t come easy for me. In fact, my love for reading didn’t come until after I was in college a year or so. In elementary school, I hated reading out loud in front of my peers…I was slow and I stumbled a lot. Even through high school (which was even more embarrassing), I struggled. BUT, in spite of my embarrassment, I never hated reading and I strongly believed it’s because of the model I had at home.
If they’re older (7ish and up), share a fun chapter book together. Make it a special time for one-on-one time with them. Make sure the book you’re reading together is something they are interested in. Make it fun…they don’t have to read, but they should be able to understand most of what you are reading to them. “Listening Comprehension” is a big piece of the foundation for reading success.
Talk to your kids about why they are interested in certain books and allow them to read what ever is interesting to them. I mean…WHATEVER!!! Even if it’s comic books or magazines. As long as they are reading, THAT’S what’s important.
If your child is having a hard time picking a book to read, follow this strategy by “The 2 Sisters” (another pair of sisters that love working together). Their strategy is called “I PICK”:
I look at a book (inside and out)
Purpose (Why do I want to read it?)
Interest (Does it interest me?)
Comprehend (Do I understand it?)
Know most of the words
Once kids understand this strategy and have practiced it with an adult several times, they are ready to be more independent. All it takes is a couple of minutes. Either they know most of the words or they don’t. Either they understand it or they don’t. Either it seems interesting to them or it doesn’t. Its’ as simple as that. What a quick, easy way for them to pick a book that not only is interesting for them, but they can read and understand it all on their own. Nothing empowers kids more than being able to do things on their own. Check out more great tips on teaching reading by the 2 Sisters here.
A love for reading has to be gradually fostered and nurtured…not just by teachers, but by parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors, and friends. Try to spend at least 20 minutes a day reading with your child or listening to them read. The more books children are exposed to, the more words they are exposed to…the more things they will understand about the world around them.
Please comment or send us an email if you have any questions about teaching your child to read. I’d love to help in any way that I can.
Peace to you…Happy reading!!