Many parents hope their students will read books easily and often. After all, reading is a necessary skill in every academic discipline! Unfortunately, some children simply do not enjoy this pastime. This is a common struggle, but it’s one that you can address. Before you surrender to your frustration, review the seven strategies below to enhance your student’s experience with literature. One (or more!) may be just what you need to spark your student’s interest.
1. Visit your local library
Whether you prefer electronic or paper books, the library can serve as the perfect tool to enhance your student’s experience with literature. Locate your neighborhood library, and then set aside an hour or more to explore its shelves with your child. Young students will especially appreciate the opportunity to handle physical books. These tips can help you create a summer reading program for you and your child.
2. Offer choice
Just as children love to dress and feed themselves, students may appreciate the freedom to select their own reading material. Your child knows his or her own interests best – ask what book he or she would like to check out from the library or purchase from the bookstore. Ensure that your student’s choice is appropriate, but allow him or her to control the process.
3. Seek cultural touchstones
Literature becomes particularly powerful when the reader identifies with the central character. It is of critical importance that children see themselves reflected in the pages of their books, so select titles that explore elements of your family’s culture, race, religion, etc. The Internet is a wonderful tool for searching for such texts.
4. Read aloud
A student is never too old to hear literature read aloud. This is an immensely pleasurable pastime, and for a child who struggles with reading, it’s a chance to reconnect with the joy of narrative. Older students, or children who are advanced readers, can also benefit from reading aloud to you – or their siblings, or even the beloved family dog!
5. Incorporate socialization
By nature, humans enjoy interacting with other humans. Suggest that your student join a book club – or form one with his or her friends. Middle schoolers and high schoolers may also find that online platforms like Goodreads enhance their experience with literature. On Goodreads, individuals can write and post literature reviews, as well as converse with other readers. You can help your child work well in groups with these tips.
6. Experiment with theme activities
If your child selects a book about a little girl who likes to bake pies, consider doing the same with your student. When you pair activities with the plot of a novel or short story, you effectively bring the narrative to life. Does this month’s book involve a garden? Design one on paper, and then plant it!
7. Set a positive example
How often do you read? Do you do so where your child can see? Young students often emulate the habits of their parents or guardians, so try to set the correct example. To enhance your student’s experience with literature, share your favorite parts of reading with your student. Demonstrate that reading is enjoyable, and you may soon find that your child feels the same! You may also want to consider seeking a reading tutor for your child!