Practical Tips to Help Your Child Enjoy Reading
When the pandemic hit, and schools closed last March, my kindergartener struggled with virtual learning. Sitting at a computer trying to learn while 23 other kids were yelling and not paying attention was not ideal. We decided then and there that we were going to homeschool the following year if things didn’t improve.
I thought homeschooling was going to be a breeze.
My daughter has always been advanced, knew her kindergarten sight words, and we are very proud of that. And because of that, I thought homeschooling was going to be a breeze. We bought a bunch of books and got to work. Little did I know, the fighting was about to begin. While she can add and subtract in her head super easily, absorbing information about every dinosaur that ever existed almost comes naturally. However, reading was an issue.
She would cry every time I suggested we work on reading, I found myself yelling way more than I wanted. I could feel her pulling away from me especially when it was school time.
Homeschooling pod’s weren’t a thing this year because of COVID, so I was her lone teacher and I was not prepared. Both of us frustrated, we only lasted a few minutes every time we started the subject. She would cry every time I suggested we work on reading, I found myself yelling way more than I wanted. I could feel her pulling away from me especially when it was school time.
I started trying new things to entice her to read. Here’s what we tried:
Write out a list of things for your child to find, it can be super simple. If we are outside maybe the list is: tree, leaf, bug, cloud, & animal. She has to read the word and copy the list onto her own paper. When she finds the item, she has to draw it – boom, also art!
We bought her a journal and had her write something she did that day. Spelled wrong and practically illegible, at least it was something. After she was done with her journal entry, we would read it together and correct the spelling and grammar in a very non criticizing way. After a while, when she got the words right she would be very excited.
Building confidence with repetition
There are a few books from toddlerhood that we read so much, she had them memorized. We had her read to her little brother bedtime stories. They loved that time together. He would often ask her to read books that she hadn’t memorized and that convinced her to try to read other books.
Messaging apps or email
Okay, this might sound a little crazy depending on how young your child may be, but we gave my daughter an old iPod touch and she can use the messaging to text her grandparents and a few friends. This had been encouraging her to read on her own, so she doesn’t have to come to us to read every message to her. Always be aware or what apps your child is using and who they are communicating with. Make sure they are well versed in the potential dangers as well as the amazing opportunities the internet has to offer. Facebook has a messenger kids app which allows you to control who your child can message with, which is a great feature.
Write stories with them
Your child’s imagination is a wonderland. Grab some paper, colored pencils, and get to work writing their own story. Your child may be reluctant to physically write, but that’s okay - you write what they tell you. Illustrate the story together, and your child will be excited to read their book to anyone who will listen!
Even though we were making progress, we still needed help. She needed social interaction, learning in a group setting, and someone else to teach her besides me.
Thankfully, help was on the way. I found Monster Education and I am so excited for them to take over in the reading department. Their “Read with a Beat” live video class is going to be perfect for my daughter. The teacher helps kids read child-friendly poems and rhymes using a hip hop beat. Tailored for the new reader, your child will be broadening their vocabulary and literary skills. The kids are guaranteed to increase their number of words read per minute after the 10 weeks. So if you’re struggling with certain subjects and need some help, be sure to check out Monster Education classes!
There are a lot of resources out there to help you teach your child. While academics are important, your relationship with your child is more important. Don’t stress and reach out for help whenever you can.
Stephanie Witusik is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of two children, and a writer. She resides in Central New York State. When she isn’t writing you can find Stephanie partaking in the art of charcuterie boards, painting, cycling, baking, and having epic dance parties with her family.