As some of you know, my daughter who was in first grade this year really struggled with learning to read. She was in an intervention at school and each night her teacher would send home the same six books for her to read night after night after night. It was frustrating for us and it was frustrating for her. But needless to say, my daughter is now reading at the level she should be. She didn’t enjoy the process of having to do her reading each night for homework, but we got through it. Yes, there was resistance and tears, and everything else that parents who have a struggling reader have to go through.
But recently, now that she has a choice about what she has to read, the game has changed. She is excited to read and begs me to sit with her while she does her reading. What changed? Well, two things. First, she gets to choose the books that she can read. Second, I signed her up for two summer reading programs at the local libraries. She is so excited to earn her own prizes that she keeps reading and reading. In fact in just one week, without any resistance, tears, or heartache Mikayla has read 6 1/2 hours. Yes, the child that was resistant really did this without me asking her to do it. She committed to the program and cares about earning her prizes.
This excites me beyond anything in the world. When you take a child who has struggled and hated reading for an entire year, give her some choice, and see these kinds of results, then you just want to share them with everyone and anyone who will listen. If you are having doubts about signing up your child for the free program at the library, think about what kind of results that you want for your child.
During the summer, kids that don’t read suffer from summer reading loss. They get more behind their peers and require more one on one help in the school, which decreases as the years go on. By taking the opportunity to motivate your child to read now, you can save yourself thousands of dollars down the road. It is priceless to hear your child ask you to read to you while you take a shower or while you are in the car together. It is also priceless to sit down and read with them. It is bonding time and they will only be the size that they are now once. Take advantage of every opportunity you get to be your child’s cheerleader when it comes to their reading. When you see the results that happen as a direct result you will be forever grateful.