Why Learning to Read Fluently is Crucial
Let’s face is…we live in an extremely fast paced and competitive society. Children have more going against them in this present day and age than ever before. However, I believe that by helping your children become successful readers, as well as lifelong learners, you will be imparting some of the most amazing gifts you can ever give to your kids!
I don’t think I’ve ever met a parent who didn’t want their children to be happy and to grow up to accomplish more than they have. We all want the best for our kids. This is one of the true characteristics of a great parent!
Reading Success is Extremely Critical
According to dosomething.org, over 1.3 million students in the United States drop out of high school every year. That’s about 26 kids every second. That’s an unbelievable amount of brain cells wasted. Even worse, this represents 1.3 million kids who either lost belief in themselves, or totally gave up on their dreams and goals for their lives.
Even more devastating is the realization that the majority of companies in America won’t even consider employing dropouts. In my opinion, this is a huge tragedy, and one that could have ultimately been avoided.
No matter what job or career your child will choose in life, reading is definitely fundamental. From working in the food industry to teaching, practicing medicine to selling cars, your child is going to have to be a successfully fluent reader.
Avoiding the “Stuckness” of Life
I have witnessed way too many adults stuck in jobs they absolutely hate in order to survive, pay their bills, and support their families. A great majority of these people feel like they are in a perpetual rut because they never learned how to read fluently enough to go after their dream jobs.
However, there is always hope for this generation of kids who will be our future leaders some day! Children need to believe in themselves and their abilities. They need to know that they can be successful at reading and learning, no matter what they’ve experienced before!
This is where you, as the parents and caregivers, come in. It’s never too late to give your children the positive motivation and the skills they need to become great readers!
If Possible, Begin Early
Although it’s always wise to start the reading process with your kids when they are babies, don’t panic if you haven’t begun yet! I am a firm believer that God takes even our most futile efforts, and expands upon them to help us overcome and succeed!
In another post, I talked about reading to your babies and toddlers. It’s extremely important that your children see that you have the love of reading. This will instill the importance of literacy and learning in them at a young age.
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What Kinds of Books to Start With
You might even “talk” or “sing” your way through these books! Ask them questions and have them point to various things in the books.
Babies and toddlers need to be included in the communication process. This will make reading to your little one more fun, as well as foster a closer bond between the two of you. I discuss this in great detail in another post. I hope you’ll check it out:)
Libraries Make Great “Reading” Field Trips
You might also check out your local library. Many libraries have story time that is especially geared for the little ones. This may include bouncing to the words, dancing to poems, and other lively games. This will keep your babies and toddlers actively engaged during story time!
This is always a great place to take your little one to for reading field trips! In addition to the wonderful reading programs they have, please make sure you check out the children’s section for fun books to read!
Be sure to let your child choose what books he/she would like to check out. This teaches good problem solving skills, especially if they are only allowed to check out 5-10 books, in place of taking the entire library home!
If you don’t have time to visit your local public library, please look into purchasing books for your kiddos. This is a wonderful way to build up their “personal” libraries! I am affiliated with a super cool new and used online bookstore. They are known for giving back to the world in the form of books to help kids and adults overcome illiteracy. If you’re interested, please click this link to find out more.
Getting Your Pre-K, Kindergarten and Early Elementary Kiddos Excited to Read With ABC Mouse.com
If you’re interested in a wonderfully educational technology program that will teach and guide your children through the early stages of literacy, I highly recommend ABCmouse.com. It is an extremely easy to use online curriculum for kids, ages 2-8.
ABCmouse.com encompasses a wide educational scope that includes over 850 lessons and 8,000 educational learning activities within a ten level framework in the areas of reading, math, social studies and science, as well as art and colors. I thought I would share a short video to explain more clearly how ABCmouse.com works! Hope you enjoy…
As the video shows, ABCmouse.com begins with a step-by-step learning program. Once your child completes each lesson, they are then taken to the next lesson, until all 10 levels are complete. I love ABCmouse.com because children can learn at their own pace. Plus, there are so many incentives to continue learning, as they are rewarded with tickets and rewards for the progress they make.
In addition, ABCmouse.com has been awarded the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, Teacher’s Choice Award, and Parent’s Choice Gold Award! If you’re interested in starting your kiddos off on the pathway to early reading, please check out this wonderful program. You can click on the banner below, simply visit ABCmouse.com.
Setting the Stage For Your Older Kiddos
Since I work with children of all ages just about everyday, it seems that the older they get, the less they want to read. I can bribe, cajole…you name it, but to get a book, magazine, or other reading material into their hands, that’s not part of their homework, is a complete chore!
A large majority of these kids don’t have the skills or the confidence that it takes to get through a book, much less understand what they have read. This is frustration at its worst. They would rather give up, than plow through their reading difficulties and try.
There’s Always Hope For These Kids
No matter what your kiddos have faced in the past, there is always hope in overcoming reading challenges. They just have to have a positive outlook, and continual positive affirmation fed into their hearts and minds each day.
They need to realize that they can become successful readers and ultimately, achieve their dreams as long as the don’t give up. As I tell my kids, “Keep looking up. You’ll get There!”
Giving Your Child Positive Affirmations
One extremely important thing that I believe in doing every day is telling each of my kids something positive about themselves. It can be as simple as, “I think you’re absolutely beautiful, both inside and out!” Or…”You always seem to light up a room. Never forget to let your light shine!”
It always produces a smile, and prayerfully, some of the much needed confidence that they will need to take with them into this big, and sometimes, scary world that we live in.
Let your kids know that you believe in them, and that they have whatever it takes to overcome obstacles. In my book, their “reading difficulties” are really God’s way of preparing them for something much bigger than we could ever imagine!
Never Stop Learning About Your Child’s Interests
Sometimes, all you need to do is simply have casual conversations with your child to see what they’re “into.” This is what I do with my kids on a regular basis because they always seem to change their minds about the things they love to do!
It sounds like such a simple thing, right? That’s what I thought until I recently read a statistic that said that the average parent or caregiver spends less than 7 minutes a day in conversation with his/her child. Shocking! I spend more time than that just trying to wake up in the morning!
I say…”Defy the norm!” Make your children a priority. Take time to really get to know them, inside and out. Believe me…someday, you’ll be thankful that you did:) Plus…this might give you some insight as to what your child or teen will enjoy reading!
Create the Love of Reading in Your Kids
It’s really not impossible to help your kiddos begin to enjoy loving to read. Whether it’s getting a good book in their hands, reading an enjoyable magazine, or simply reading something on their tablet, kids can find that reading is not all that “yucky!”
Let them see you read. Or better yet, find something that the two of you can read together. Yet… another way to foster bonding with your child, preteen, and yes, even your teenager! Let them know that you want the very best for them, and that you’ll never give up on them:)
I wish you and your kids the very best that life has to offer! If you ever have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible. And as always…Happy Reading to You and Your Child!