We are all aware of the significance of reading at a young age: (1) reading is instrumental to a child’s cognitive and emotional development, (2) phonemic and phonological awareness is the basis of speech and language processing; (3) reading is directly connected with an increased vocabulary which helps to build strong writing mechanics and essay structure, and (4) let’s not forget that reading stories about adventure, love, loss, and friendship makes us feel more connected to ourselves and each other. We can all agree that reading is good.
How To Help Non-Readers Become Active Readers
But what do you do if your child is just not that into reading? With so many other activities vying for their attention it is difficult to make reading a top priority. Some kids are naturally voracious readers, even categorized as autodidacts. Some kids are not and that’s okay because as we talked about last week, there are many ways of learning and various Multiple Intelligences. For the kids who need a little extra encouragement to pick up that book, I suggest quantifying their efforts through what I like to call, The Golden Ticket. Commonly known as a book program or reading club, you too can adopt this strategy in your own home simply by setting forth an expectation of reading daily for 20 minutes and then allowing your child to earn a weekly prize once they compete their weekly reading ticket. That weekly reading ticket becomes a Golden Ticket just by attaching expectations and earning power to it, elevating its importance and giving it some real clout.
The Correlation Between Hard-Work & Rewards
Healthy self-competition is good for the soul and keeps motivation alive. It’s important to instill the essence of earnings power, the ability to generate profit (whether monetary or not ) from working hard, at a young age. The idea that your child has true potential but needs to capitalize on that by putting forth the time and effort to raise the status quo is the same idea used in everything from potty-training to chores to pay grades in the work force. Motivation comes in all forms and for things that are difficult for kids to do, it may require a little extra incentive. But don’t just give them that reward! Instead, help them learn to earn it. You’ll not only teach them the importance of reading but the importance of two life lessons: hard-work and tenacity.
For Good Reads Check Out Our Recommended Book List: Summer Reading Club- Upper Elementary School
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Christine Terry, B.A., J.D., is the Founder & Owner of Terry Tutors, a Private Tutoring, Family Coaching, and Education Advocacy service dedicated to supporting the whole student. She writes this blog as an effort to help Moms & Dads Navigate Generation Z, Honestly. Want to Know More? Head on over to TerryTutors.com