“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald
Now that the school year is winding down, it is hard to find motivation for much of anything. The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and the sweet scent of summer – with its’ promise of a much needed break –is in the air. While the usual homework load may also be lightening up – there is one activity that should continue without hesitation or complaint: Reading.
Regardless of your child’s age, reading is such a critical part of their ability to learn, grow, and adapt to the world around them. If you allow your child to only read what is assigned to them through school, they will only view reading as a chore –and never allow it to become the catalyst to explore their own imagination. Reading increases behavior, concentration, and the ability to analyze, interpret and understand information. While we may not always enjoy what we read, literature challenges us to explore our own values and beliefs – and to form an opinion that is supported by personal experience.
All too often, I begin working with a student, and their first remark to me is that they “hate” reading. When I discover that they are only reading what is assigned to them in school, it is no wonder! Of course they hate it! They aren’t finding the personal connections to characters and events that transform how they view the human experience. Reading should enhance life – not just become another mindless task performed out of obligation.
In reality, reading impacts children and young adults socially, emotionally and intellectually. The absence of literacy on a daily basis will cause your child’s attitude towards learning to become negative, and may even result in a distancing from their peers and an internal struggle with their personal identity. So how can you encourage your child to pick up a book and make reading a part of their daily life? Let me tell you:
Be An Active Role Model. YOU are your child’s most important teacher. If you expect something of them, you should expect it of yourself. Incorporate reading into your own daily routine – because if your child sees you reading, they will want to read too.
Read Aloud Daily. If you have young children, read to them. Research has shown that children who are read to during those developing stages of life become better students and readers themselves. They tend to perform better on tests and have a deep-rooted love for learning. Now is the time to unlock their imagination and lay the foundation for their future success.
Build A Family Library. Instead of using technological devices or television as rewards, give your child a book – (and I don’t mean an e-book, either!) A good old-fashioned, tangible book promotes not only reading, but also a way for your child to share their literature. Designate a space in your home where your children have easy access to books, and are encouraged to take initiative in the reading process.
Communicate About What You Read. Merely setting a timer for reading time will not teach your child the true value of literature. By talking with your child about what they are reading, you will teach them to absorb the words – and improve your own communication with them at the same time.
Make Connections With the Text. Encourage your child to think about what they read – and to find the deeper meaning within the story. More often than not, literature introduces a new perspective about the human experience, and creates an opportunity for your child to gain understanding about the world and themselves. By making connections, your child will find that reading can be a personal and enjoyable experience – not a chore.
Your child’s attitude towards reading will impact all areas of their life. It will affect their writing skills, vocabulary development, accountability, and ability to take initiative as an adult. But this skill is not something to be left to just your child’s teachers. It’s up to YOU. As parents, you can choose to incorporate literacy into your daily home life, and thereby give your child the key to unlock their own potential.
For more information on how to help your child succeed, contact me today:
Triumph Tutoring, Inc.