Why You Shouldn’t Teach Your Child to Read – And What Some Parents Are Doing Instead
We all want our kids to be great readers – and we spend lots of time looking for the best resources to help them learn.
But the other day, I was talking with a preschool teacher at Stanford’s Bing Nursery School. She gave me the best reading advice ever:
“Don’t teach your child to read. Raise a reader.”
Aha! So that is why some kids feel like reading is a painful, boring chore… and others see it as a journey.
So how do you raise a reader? Start by reading with your child every day. For at least 20 minutes. No matter how young they are. Hold them, cuddle with them, and be expressive. This is your chance to make reading a fun and meaningful part of the family routine.
Parents who “raise readers” also make a big effort to connect their kids to what they’re reading. This doesn’t just mean pointing out how useful reading is in life (e.g. shopping lists, emails, signs). It also means creating an emotional bond between your child and the text. Try using:
Finally, it’s important to explore reading materials that aren’t books. The more ways your child can interact with reading and writing, the better. We recommend:
• Magazines -- StudyDog experts love National Geographic Kids.
• Graphic novels -- run, don’t walk, to the library if you haven’t read the Owly series yet.
• Wordless picture books – you will love Carl Goes Shopping at least as much as your child does. Amirite?
• Computer and video games – exciting characters and fun lessons leave kids asking for more. For best results, pick a game like StudyDog, which is 1) designed by experts; 2) research-based and validated; and 3) able to customize each lesson to your child’s specific level. Get a free trial of StudyDog now to see it in action.
Don’t forget: reading isn’t just a journey for your child. It’s a journey for you, too. You will learn from each other. You’ll struggle. And you’ll celebrate.
And that is part of what makes it beautiful.
Parents: What tricks do you use to keep your child motivated?