Did you ever notice the smartest, top performing students are typically avid readers? Reading unlocks a world of learning opportunities. Not only does reading build imagination and vocabulary, it also stimulates critical thinking and reasoning skills. Reading a story arouses our imaginations and reading a biography of a successful man or woman who helped to make a difference inspires us!
Summer is the perfect time to instill a love of reading in your student. When my children were young, I remember a young homeschooling mother that told me that I should always read to my children even through the teen years. That was something I implemented and continued as long as my children were willing.
If you have a reluctant reader, don’t fret! There are many ways that you can get the wheels turning and begin a love of reading in your child.
Try these tips:
- Pick out a subject that you both enjoy and find a book in that area that you can read together. If time doesn’t permit for you to read together, be sure to read it simultaneously so you can encourage conversations about the book as your student is reading it.
- What do you think will happen next?
- How will the main character handle the crisis he’s facing? What would you do?
- Find a summer reading program that offers fun incentives for readers. Typically, local libraries have these. Or you can create your own family summer reading program. Don’t hesitate to join the program with your child and have the opportunity to spur them on through your example.
- Have an “electronics-free” time where no one accesses electronics. You all just read!
- Make books accessible. Take them to the library regularly, leave books around the house or give them access to online sources. Hoopla is a free app that allows you to borrow eBooks from your local library.
As a tutor/teacher or parent, you are most effective when you show a passion to your students. They tend to catch our flame. Even if they roll their eyes and don’t act interested…they’re listening.
One word of advice:
When you have a reluctant reader, don’t be afraid to allow them to start reading a book that is below their grade level if you think it will interest them. By reading a book that is easy but INTERSTING, your student will enjoy reading and you can advance the reading level as he shows more and more interest.
Remember: You had to walk before you ran. Give your student time to fall in love with reading and help him along the way.
Need ideas for books? Allowing your child to pick the book will help to spark the love of reading.
Here are some lists on the internet for different ages.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
– Sir Richard Steele, Tatler