Last month, I talked to a mom whose son wasn’t reading.
She was really distraught about it, and was searching for ways to get him interested in picking up a book.
I gave her some suggestions:
*Since her son is active, go for a walk and the read signs and ads outside.
*Let him play with a ball as you read to him.
*Scatter books around the house.
*Make reading its own reward – show him how he can find facts and interesting stuff in books.
*Offer him fact-filled books like the Guinness World Records.
And an e-mail I sent her:
I think the most important thing is to make reading have a pay-off for him – the act of reading will give him information he didn’t have. I used to give my son a book, and I’d say, “Oh, there’s something really cool in here about sharks’ teeth. You’ll see it – it’s on page 19.”
Then he reads it, and then comes down and tells me all about it. Pay-off.
That makes reading really sustainable for him.
It’s what will make him find solace in books, and intrigue, and excitement.
It’s what will make him a great reader.
I also told her that it thought her son was at about the norm for reading, for his age and grade level, and that she didn’t have to worry.
Here’s what she wrote me the other day:
“I wanted to tell you all of your advice has paid off.
Even just setting my mind at ease has really helped to let the tension go, and encourage O. to read at his leisure.
He’s really getting it now.”
Now that’s exciting.
Read other success stories here.
Until I talked with this mom, I hadn’t realized how much pressure we put on ourselves to get our kids reading. And when that pressure is relieved, how easy the whole thing becomes. So like life.