Motivating a Reluctant Reader
Many children do not learn to read easily. While some children pick up reading without difficulty, many children have to really work at it. Often these children complain that the story is too long or too hard. This month’s Inspire! will help you instill a love of reading in a reluctant reader.
Share the Reading
One technique is to share the reading of a story with your child. Have him read every other page, while you read the rest. To make sure that he is following along while you read, make some obvious, perhaps even silly, mistakes for your child to catch. Your child will love catching your mistakes and will also feel relief that he does not have the responsibility of reading the entire story.
You can add to this experience by creating unique voices for the characters in the story that both you and your child can use.
Audio books are another helpful tool that can encourage a love of reading while bolstering reading skills. Allow your child to follow along in her own book as she listens to the recording. Children benefit not only from seeing the words on the page read aloud, but also from hearing the reader’s fluency and expression.
After your child has listened to a story a few times, you can also use the recording to help improve reading fluency by having your child read along with the story.
Sharing children’s poetry with your child is also a wonderful way to encourage the love of reading while increasing reading skills. Many children love listening to and reading poetry. The figurative language of poetry helps develop children’s imagination as well as their vocabulary. Choosing poems that are fun and humorous also adds enjoyment. Your child may also wish to illustrate or even memorize a portion of a poem.
Using these strategies may help your child not only improve his/her reading skills, but also enjoy the journey to reading proficiently.
The Baby Sister
by Tomie dePaola
This story, written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, is based on his experiences when he became a big brother. Tommy wants a little sister with a red ribbon in her hair. He even helps prepare for the new baby by painting pictures for the baby’s room. When the big day arrives, Tommy’s grandmother comes to stay with him. Finally, his mother and the new baby come home, and Tommy is delighted to see that his little sister has a red ribbon in her hair.
a PIZZA the size of the SUN
by Jack Prelutsky (author), James Stevenson (illustrator)
Jack Prelutsky has been widely acknowledged as the poet laureate for children. This book includes one hundred fast, funny, and clever poems for children. The amusing illustrations also add to the collection.
by Gail Carson Levine
The main character of this book, Ella, is a headstrong female heroine who was given the gift of obedience at birth by a fairy. Whatever anyone tells her to do, she must do. As she grows, Ella begins to realize that this “gift” is truly a curse when people begin to order her to do things that she knows are wrong. Ella begins a quest to find the fairy who gave her the gift so that she can ask her to take it back. Along the way she meets up with princes, ogres, giants and a couple of wicked stepsisters.