One of the greatest skills a child can develop early, which will carry over throughout their educational careers, is the skill of being a strong reader.
Since education truly does begin in the home, there are a number of steps parents can take to start their child on the road to success. Sitting down for a shared story at the end of the day can be a relaxing, bonding time for both parents and young children. Even when children begin to develop the skills to read for themselves, parents can continue to share the experience of reading, often by choosing books beyond a child’s reading ability but still highly appealing in their interests level. For reluctant readers, these shared books can even provide a segue to independent reading. If a book isn’t too far beyond a child’s ability, by stopping the reading at an exciting point, a child can be enticed to continue reading on his or her own. Creating a positive association with books and reading can be key to building strong independent readers later on.
In addition to parents and children reading together, there are many other opportunities for children to develop an affinity for books and reading early on. Public libraries are one of the most valuable, free assets to a community. Most public libraries offer story and reading programs for ages from preschool all the way up through school-aged summer reading programs. Libraries are also great resources for finding reading material. The King County Library System provides free lists of well written books for children of all ages. Additionally, the library is stocked with a variety of books on tape which can be good for car trips or to help students who have a difficult time with the written word. Reading doesn’t have to be limited to just books. Some students who balk at reading, can be enticed with magazines designed for various ages and interests: Ranger Rick, American Girl, Sports Illustrated Kids, and others can sometimes interest a child who does not appear to read willingly. Even word puzzles and games, such as treasure hunts with written clues can help a child appreciate the power and joy of the written word.
Being a strong reader is essential to success in almost all disciplines, and by creating a positive experience with reading and ample opportunities to experience books and the written word, students will have a strong foundation for all of their academic pursuits.
Pacific Learning Academy is a one-on-one school offering single courses and dual enrollment, as well as full-time middle and high school. We also offer tutoring in all subjects from 6th to 12th grade, including test prep, either in-home or local libraries across the Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, etc…). See more at www.PacificLearningAcademy.com.