Usually, kids that are taught to read early and effectively and never experienced any of the difficulties that so many of our children have to face love to read. And just as often, the kids who hate to read are those that experience difficulties in learning to read. The key to overcoming your child’s reluctance to read is to help him or her develop the skills needed to be a successful reader. Here are some tips for reluctant readers.
Tips for Reluctant Readers
· Make a list of the key skills that are weak or problematic
For example, punctuation, spelling, writing journal entries, etc.
· Set up a period of about 30 minutes each day for reading
Give one or two days off a week. Let your child pick those days off, because giving them some sense of power in this process is amazingly helpful.
· Divide each period into the activities that your child needs
· Be totally present during the 30 minute time period
Don’t allow for distractions.
· Ensure that things stay calm and you never lose your temper
If you cannot do this, do not attempt the activities, as it will only make things worse.
· Help your child over error by telling the answer whenever difficulty strikes
For example, if your child does not know a word, don’t say “sound it out” or “try again”. This may not be ideal but it is far better than having your child struggle and feel that reading is “impossible”.
· For kids who have trouble with decoding (i.e., correctly reading the words on a page) or with spelling, get a speaker-speller device
Here is an example of such a device. It empowers kids and when you are not around, they have access to something that will give them the words and they do not have to struggle.
· If you have your child’s school curriculum, try and teach some of the things that you think may cause difficulty later on.
Your child may not find that material great at the time, but when he or she gets to class in the fall and suddenly can do something easily (that had been hard) the effects can be amazing.
· Show your child how to keep a daily log of each day’s activities
This helps them organize what they are doing. Then at designated point in your process (for example, after each 5 completed sessions), give your child a small but desirable reward. For example you might reward your child by going to a movie that the child wants to see, or taking child for a treat.
“My 5-year-old, Diego, is just beginning to read. When I heard about Reading Kingdom I was intrigued. I love programs that use games to teach children. They don’t realize how much they are learning while playing the games… Diego now comes home from school, finishes his homework then asks to play on the Reading Kingdom game. I love it!”
— Amber Ortega
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