Remember when your reader was little and convincing them to sit in your lap while you read a book or watching them flip through the pages by themselves was a regular occurrence? What has changed? Is it truly the availability of gadgets all fighting for their attention? It is easy to believe electronics are to blame. I have noticed it is a combination of a few things.
When our children enter school, reading becomes a very important focus of their education, as it should be. A person needs to be able to read to learn all subjects. It is the cornerstone of all that we learn to do. But the process of learning how to read varies in difficulty for each child. Some seem to grasp it easily and aren’t usually the ones that we worry about, while others have to work harder to get the building blocks of reading to stick in their memories and then to make them fit together to make sense.
For all children of all reading abilities, learning to read is work. It is the primary job of elementary students. They are tested and graded and categorized by their reading ability. They are constantly being pushed to read a higher level of more complex materials both in and out of school.
As adults, we don’t expect work from our children and ourselves 24/7. We need occasional R&R. A moment to sit back and relax. For many children that could mean reading at a lower level than they are currently working on in school. It could be a much-loved storybook from a couple years ago or any book that interests them just a couple of levels lower than where they are currently striving to read. Allowing your child to have a break to do some “coasting” reading can be one factor to keep them interested in reading. Another factor that gets missed between the cuddly bedtime story of a toddler or preschooler and a school-age child is the together time that being read to fosters.
Jim Trelease, in his much-loved book The Read Aloud Handbook, addresses how reading aloud to children of all ages will not only bring family members closer together through time spent but also will help any child want to experience books through being read to which can translate into a desire to read on their own. With great suggestions such as using baskets of books throughout the house to choosing books from and others, Jim demonstrates how reading aloud is an easy household habit to make. He also relates many studies to show how being read to can make in a child’s life. I highly recommend this book to all parents.
Another factor I have noticed for some children is the push to read chapter books once they reach a certain grade level. Not all children are wired to enjoy stories that have personal relationships in them. There are quite a few children that would much rather read a non-fiction book. They love the facts and the technical terms they are introduced to through non-fiction. I know that sometimes there can be required reading that specifies a chapter book, there are non-fiction chapter books are there for your fact lover to explore and enjoy.
Watching a child fall in love with any book is one of my greatest joys. That is why I have chosen Usborne Books & More as a career. Matching the just right book to any child fulfills my purpose and lets me go to sleep with a smile on my face.