Archives: Bridgette Booth

What Does Your Child’s Teacher Believe about Lifelong Reading?

What Does Your Child’s Teacher Believe about Lifelong Reading?

No one argues the value of reading.  For decades, research has linked reading with academic success, college graduation, and job advancement.

In fact, being an avid reader is the only extracurricular activity known to increase the likelihood of a person having a professional or managerial position by his early 30’s.

While no one disputes the benefits of reading, educators do disagree whether readers are born with a bent towards stories or if bookworms are created through instruction, modeling, and practice.

In short, is reading a trait or a skill?

Granted, this distinction sounds small – a “he says tomato, she says tomahto” dispute – but a teacher’s perspective on reading makes all the difference in how much class time she’ll devote to promoting habits that turn a child into a lifelong reader.

With this in mind, ask yourself these questions:

Does my child’s teacher allow time for in-class reading? Just as a child must practice to master any skill, the reader gets stronger with daily practice. Readers practice reading, and that means 20 minutes to an hour of reading a day.

Does my child have a classroom library? Readers need easy access to books. A child surrounded by a well-stocked library spends 60% more time reading than a child without a classroom library. Also, the chance for a child to participate in literacy-related activities more than doubles from 4 interactions to 8 ½ interactions when he is close to books.

Does my child have a choice in what he reads? When a child selects his own reading material, he becomes an engaged and empowered reader. He learns what his taste is in books and the types of stories that interest him.

Does my child’s teacher read? Does she share what she reads with her classroom? Readers need a reading community. When a child hears a teacher describing a book she enjoys, then she demonstrates to him that reading is not just for school, showing him that reading matters in the lives of the adults around him.

Did you say yes to those questions? If so, your child’s teacher likely sees reading as a skill and her classroom as a greenhouse to create the habits for lifelong readers.

If you mostly answered no, then your child’s teacher may see her class bookworms as “born readers”, preferring to stress critical reading rather than pleasure reading.

Whether your child’s teacher believes reading is a trait or a skill, you can inspire your child to develop lifelong reading habits by creating a book-rich home, allowing him to choose books that he wants to read, and encouraging him to read daily.

Then when you share what books excite – and bore – you, he will know, without a doubt, how much you believe in being a lifelong reader too.

What do you think? Are children born bookworms or can they can develop a love of reading? I’d enjoy reading what you think. Just add your comments below.

Also, if you like this article, and would like to read more it’s easy peasy to have the next one delivered right to your inbox.

Just go click the little SUBSCRIBE box in the top right corner, enter your email address, and voilà, you’re done.

I pinkie promise that I won’t give away or sell your information. (A promise I’m confident I can keep since I have no idea how to go about doing it. Nor am I interested in learning.) : )  

3 Steps to Help Your Struggling Reader Beat a Summer Slump

3 Steps to Help Your Struggling Reader Beat a Summer Slump

To a child, few things sound as sweet as the last bell on the last day before summer break.

With no assignments or homework to complete, he sees the summer as a welcome release from the daily tension that goes with modern education.

{Unless you’re a child who struggles to read}

Unfortunately, a child with reading problems cannot indulge in long breaks without losing important ground made during the school year.

Research shows that a child’s reading skills, especially those who already struggle with books, decline during the summer months.

A long break from regular reading practice often means a child has to learn words and word families again when school starts in the fall.

On the other hand, nonstop work leaves a child feeling as if his life is held prisoner by his learning disability.

{So what’s the solution?}

Reading experts say the key is balance and suggest parents find ways to let their children recharge while not losing vital reading skills over the summer.

With that advice in mind, here are three steps to help your child enjoy summer without losing important reading skills:

  1. Begin with a flexible schedule.  Like adults, children enjoy summer’s unhurried pace, so sticking with a loose timetable will go a long way to convince your child that he truly is getting a break from school.
  2. Go casual. Since the summer offers valuable downtime, reading experts do suggest you make use of the time by familiarizing your child with the books he will read for the upcoming school year as long as you use a relaxed approach. For instance, sample future reading assignments as an audio book or as part of your family read aloud time, but avoid announcing that the material is school related.
  3. Buy or borrow short stories or easy-to-read books. Starting and finishing a story boosts a child’s confidence and creates a desire to read more. That’s why summer is ideal for easy-to-read books or short stories.  Over the break, he may be able to read several shorter books or stories and start the school year with a sense of accomplishment. As a bonus, your child is less likely to feel insecure about reading easier books or short stories since he isn’t comparing his reading material to the tome the bookworm is holding sitting in the desk beside him.

Summer learning doesn’t have to imitate school routines to be effective. A child with reading disabilities may have to be more careful with his summer time, but he deserves a playful break just as much as anyone else.

With a little planning, this summer can be the best ever.

Looking for a story that won’t overwhelm your reader? Try The Literature Club Project a short story about a girl who hates reading but is stuck in a Literature Club. :) Only 99 cents! Find it HERE on Amazon. For ages 9+.