Kids have the most active imaginations! Their wonderment knows no bounds. As we move through bringing our children into the reading world, one of the biggest mistakes we make is not allowing the child to read what is interesting to them. As we move through this blog, we will look at what can help build a successful reader. Of course, each child is different! What a great blessing that is!
We have been working with our youngest on reading, and he was resisting every step of the way. One of his biggest complaints was that it was boring and he didn’t like reading. As a huge reader (shocking right??), this was devastating. But the biggest surprise was yet to come. We were lounging in the house one afternoon, as the rain here keeps the boys from wanting to be outside often, and my youngest asked if we could go to the library. So we loaded up the car and off we went! When we got there, I gave my four book limit warning, and let them wander through the kids section while I went off on my own book search. Ten minutes later, I wandered back over to where the boys were (never fear, I had them in my line of sight the entire time), and asked what books they had chosen. My youngest was very excited over the fact that he had found books on sharks and Davy Crockett, as well as the TIME CIVIL WAR through Pictures book that he was determined that we were going to read that night. At 450 pages, I told him we could slowly work through it. My oldest was thrilled that they had Pokemon and also the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books that he was beginning to get into. So we checked out our selections and headed back to the house. As soon as we got home, both the boys hit the living room floor with their books, and for the next two hours didn’t budge, unless they were wanting to look at a different book. I was ecstatic!
From that moment on, I quit choosing their books when we went to the library, and started tailoring their own personal library for what they wanted to read. My oldest has decided that the HARRY POTTER series is something he wants to tackle this year, so for Christmas, we bought the set for him. My youngest is still all about the sharks, but he loves his military history, so we have incorporated more of the youth history books into what he wants to read. Since we started, his reading has been improving quite a bit! He still struggles with some things, but that is to be expected in first grade. I do not expect him to take off on his own just yet! But here are some tried and true measures to help YOUR child feel more comfortable with their reading.
- Sit down together and read. Read the words that they do not know, and allow them to read the ones they do. They will feel as though they are contributing and they are still learning!
- Follow the words with your finger, and when you get to longer or harder words, pause and explain what the word means if they do not know. Kids can surprise you when it comes to that.
- Allow them to Ohhh and Ahhh over the book order forms that come home. I don’t order everything they want, but they circle their interests and it gives me something to go on for gifts, or just because I feel the need to add more books to their growing library.
- Get each child their own bookcase. This way they can keep their books separate from their siblings, and arrange them in order of importance to them. To be honest, that last one is hard for me. I don’t mind the separate bookcases, but parents with OCD might struggle a little with their kids arrangements.
Children use their imagination more than we realize sometimes, which reading encourages. We see it in just about everything they do. By allowing them to delve deeper into their interests in reading, we are not only creating a want for reading, but slowly building a love for it. Books are a great investment to have, and for kids, books are hours of nonchargeable fun! No cords, no fear of dropping and shattering the screen, but fun on pages.