Helping reluctant and struggling readers may be the hardest, but perhaps the most important, reading-related issue for many parents. However, take comfort that there is help! The first thing you may need to know is that, just as infants learn to walk at different times in their lives, children learn to read at different times in their lives, too.
Photo: A baby developing early literacy skills at the CLiF table at Burlington Parks & Rec’s annual Kids Day, May 2017
Yesterday, I got to spend my morning surrounded by adorable babies singing songs, flipping through board books, and playing along with their parents at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, VT’s weekly baby time.
Children view the world quite differently than adults do. In order to cater to their needs and create a powerful bond, it’s important for parents to really think like their children and take their perspective into consideration.
Taking the time to learn how your little one thinks and feels will enable you to understand their reactions and better relate to them.
While schools do a lot to promote and improve literacy skills in young readers, there is still a lot you can do at home to help your child succeed. Just because a child has learned to read doesn’t mean that he or she no longer appreciates, or wouldn’t benefit from, reading aloud with an adult.
Children benefit when their parents take part, so become actively involved in all aspects of your child’s education. Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher early in the school year. An in-person introduction is best. A simple letter, e-mail, or note is second best.
Every parent has fears about bullying. While bullying statistics often vary, the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2011 School Crime Supplement reports that close to 30 percent of students in middle school through high school (grades 6-12) have been bullied.
I love that my daughter enjoys team sports – from kick ball at recess to organized youth soccer, it gives us tons to discuss. There are all the traditional benefits of team sports – learning to win and lose gracefully, to understand how the individuals work within a team, to interact with coach/another adult, to balance confidence and humility, and to have fun running around and being with other kids.
Reading specialists want parents to prepare their children for school by sharing a love for reading, the attitude that reading is important, and the expectation that all children can become successful readers. How to do this? Read to your child daily.
I missed the original Harry Potter buzz – I’m not sure how as I worked in a bookstore off and on from 1996-2002, during which the first four books were released. I made up for this last week, when I got swept up in my eight-year-old’s excitement over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
In most of my life roles, I can feel overwhelmed by the information on how to be or do them better, how we can achieve that ideal balance where all parties (kids, friends, coworkers, and family members) feel heard, valued, and bolstered as individuals and also “team” members.