Reading Is A Must-Have – No Buts About It
Reading is the most valuable skill a child learns. When a child learns to read, he or she acquires the privilege of learning an infinite number of subjects. The stronger the reading skills, the greater a child’s vocabulary becomes. It’s no wonder that a child who masters reading and cultivates a love of reading early is able to succeed in subjects that range from science to social studies, history, arts and literature and even music. Reading empowers children to succeed in their academic studies; it also unleashes the ability to quench their thirst for learning in areas of travel and hobbies. Possibilities for a lifetime of success are limitless when reading is mastered.
New books and topics will continually be assigned to your child, but that doesn’t mean he or she will always enjoy each reading assignment. It’s important to recognize the un-enjoyable assignments and move them from bad to good. Instill in your child the ability to overcome the scholastic realities of assigned reading. Encouragement is the key to minimizing frustrations and turning a negative experience into a positive one.
Here are a few tips to keep your child excited about reading, even when he/she doesn’t select the books.
Share Your Own Experiences When a difficult reading assignment comes home, remind your child that there is always a way to handle it successfully. Share your own struggles with reading Shakespeare or talk about how you fell in love with Romeo and Juliet because it was the first book that explored your own teenage romance struggle.
Validate Feelings The negative feelings children may harbor toward a reading assignment are rooted in something real. Although they aren’t always able to identify and articulate their emotions, it’s helpful to recognize and validate them—good or bad. Remind your child that you have assignments at work, at your volunteer organization, or perhaps at church that you don’t always welcome with a smile. Tell your child that while it’s natural to be discouraged by something challenging, new and different, it’s also rewarding when you accomplish that which at first appeared impossible. Try to be a coach, and don’t be afraid to commiserate with your child a little bit. Doing this will help him or her feel comfortable and open up about feelings associated with the assignment, giving you greater insight on other ways you can support your child.
Encouragement and Incentivizes No matter what the reading assignment is, you can encourage your child to stick to the task assigned. We know it’s not always easy to shake those pom-poms of encouragement, but your child will appreciate the positive support you provide. It’s also helpful to recognize that sometimes the best form of encouragement comes from rewarding your child along the journey. Homework and studying is a child’s job. Be careful to provide incentives for work a child doesn’t enjoy, but once in awhile it’s okay to treat them to a special reward for making it through a tough class.