Are you getting pressure from your child’s school that ‘reading homework’ must be completed but your child just doesn’t enjoy reading?
A number of parents feel overwhelmed with their child’s reading at school. Whether because their friends are on a higher level, they are not progressing, or their child simply isn’t interested in reading.
Let’s help your child enjoy reading.
We want children to look forward to their reading and enjoy it.
But right now, your child might not even like it – or even hate it.
So let’s start by making reading something your child enjoys.
And we will do that by making the reading environment as encouraging to read as possible.
Step 1: Make reading time relaxing
Begin by stepping back and looking to see whether daily reading time is as relaxing as possible.
Timing: When reading a book together, do you rush through it, or do you make the time to stop and enjoy the experience?
Feeling: How does your child feel about reading? Do they feel reading is any of the following?
- a test
- homework he or she ‘has to do’
If they feel any of the above, STOP immediately what you are doing.
It starts with sharing books that your child enjoys.
Concentrate on making books enjoyable.
As this stage, it’s ok to put the schoolbook aside if they are showing little or no interest.
Let your child choose something they want to read or listen to you read out loud.
How to help my child enjoy reading…
Step 2: Remove their stress from daily reading for school
(These tips are from my free download of 10 Top Tips to help your child enjoy reading. Click here to access)
Now that you have the perfect reading environment at home, how can you make daily reading from school a pleasure and not a chore?
It all starts in the home. It could be as simple as giving them a safety net, which is YOU.
Especially if your child feels the pressure to be a ‘reader’.
Remember reading should be fun and enjoyable. Why would your child want to read if it is about ‘getting it done’ or ‘because the teacher says it’s homework’.
Taking away those specific stress points can make all the difference in the world.
For example, I had an anxious parent approach me in a panic because her child refused to read their school reading book every day.
We started with encouraging her son to choose a book he wanted to read.
And he did – every day.
Soon he was looking forward to reading because he got to choose what he read.
The mum was still concerned that he wasn’t choosing his schoolbook for the first week, but soon she experienced the life changing effects.
Bedtime was no longer a battle. Reading was enjoyable and she looked forward to reading time and bonding with her child – even though the books were only the ones he chose.
And here’s the thing.
Once her son was in this enjoyable routine, he began to read his “schoolbooks” more and more. Soon he was reading more schoolbooks than his mother dared to hope.
By the end of the next term, he was one of the leaders in reading and writing in his class.
Let’s summarise and add a few more ideas to make daily reading enjoyable.
Make Reading fun and not work
Find books your child enjoys. When given the choice, they may
prefer comics, facts or fantasy stories.
Children love listening to you read no matter what age
they are. Even adults usually enjoy hearing their parents’ stories
from the past.
Encourage taking turns
by reading alternating pages or sentences.
Give your child some control, is it your turn or mummy’s turn? This
is especially important for children who lack confidence in their
reading. If your child wants you to read the whole book that’s ok
Have fun talking about the book and asking questions.
Children love spending time looking at the pictures or relating their
own experiences with the text. Avoid making it a race to read the
book and get to the end like you’re completing a task.
Encourage other family members to read with the child.
They often love reading with older siblings and their grandparents if
Create a “team” with your child’s class teacher.
Share with them any “wins” or any “concerns” you have. This makes
your teacher much more effective and aware and helps promote
your child’s reading enjoyment in the classroom.
The more you know about your child’s reading, the better support you can give (same is true for the teacher). As an example, you may realise together that the books are too easy/hard for your child, or they want more of certain genres, like non-fiction reading etc.
Remember, the aim is to make school reading a routine but without the pressure on the child.
And the overall goal is to ENJOY reading with your child.
Once your child enjoys the reading experience…the reading levels will shoot up.