We all know how important reading is. It’s been drummed into us since we were little. The three ‘R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) are still just as important as ever.
But what happens when you have a child who isn’t interested in reading? Let’s face it, our boys (and many girls) would much prefer to race around the yard in their tidy whities, screaming, ‘charge!’
I’ve been teaching for nine years now, and I can tell you this, reading isn’t a natural process. It takes plenty of practise for the mind to understand the concept, and it’s important to give our boisterous boys the best start.
So, how do we do that?
Reading doesn’t have to be taught sitting down! Here are some effective tips that can work wonders.
Read from birth
Reading should be viewed as a normal, everyday practise. Read to your boys from birth! The newspaper, or back of a cereal box are fine to start with. Babies hear the different intonations in your voice.
A male role model with a passion for books
Get a male role-model, or someone the boy has respect for (Dad, Grandpa, a family friend) to read to him. When he sees a male reading, it shows him that it’s not only okay to read, but it can be a wonderful thing.
Young boys are active and love to move. When teaching reading I use physical activities in the classroom. You can do the same at home.
Alphabet: use sticks, sand, water and paint brushes on the concrete, to write the letters and say the sounds.
Dramatic retell: Retell the stories through dramatization. Kids love this, especially when you’re the audience and they get the chance to make you laugh.
Art or Clay Modelling: Use clay to create the characters and scenes, backdrops to retell stories.
‘When a child is immersed in a story, their imaginations are free to run wild.’
Tell your boys why you are reading something, or why you’d like them to. Boys reading a recipe to you in the kitchen is a good one. They feel valued and helpful.
For older children, reading questions at school is an important part of their education. Practise this with them whenever you can. Homework is a great opportunity to look at reading and comprehension skills.
Add value to books
Find out what your son enjoys and offer them as special gifts.
Action ahead of emotion in plot
If a story is emotionally charged, boys may zone out. Identifiable characters who are action-driven, are more likely to keep him engaged.
Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Many children love humorous books. I get why, too. Paul Jennings, Andy Griffiths, these guys are great for the Primary School child.
Magazines and the internet
For older, reluctant boys, look for magazines of topics they are interested in. There are a host of online magazines, just like this one. Magazines are picture books for adults, full of colour and interesting, shorter stories. Rather than push them on your older child, just mention them, and make them readily available. Planting a seed is more effective with teenagers.
Original article found at BORN ORGANIZED MAGAZINE. CLICK HERE to subscribe.
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