Learning how to read is exciting for a child, then as they progress through school, reading is an essential part of learning, but what about reading for pleasure? Once something is categorized as a ‘must’ for school-aged children it can be difficult to help them reframe the activity. Reading is a good example of an educational must that can also double as a pleasurable hobby if you are creative in how you introduce this notion.
Formal educators have a responsibility to teach reading and then to include materials that are age appropriate into their curriculum to foster growth. One way to achieve this goal while also encouraging kids to curate their own love of books is to provide choices. Allowing a student to pick their own book from a list of options that will all suit your goals as their teacher allows them to learn what they do, and do not, enjoy reading, and still be able to hit their educational marks.
Within the educational system there are career paths that are reading specific that go beyond a traditional classroom teacher. Opportunities like becoming a reading specialist will allow you to work with younger children who may be having difficulties in a more one on one or small group setting. Some districts will require that you have a bachelor’s degree and possibly even your masters to qualify for this specialty. You can take out a student loan from a private lender to pay for college if you desire to seek out this specialty and do not meet the current requirements for hire.
Be the Example
School aged children rely heavily on behavioral examples to develop their own personalities, hobbies, vocabulary, the list goes on. From the youngest age, children are constantly looking to adults to help them make decisions even when they are not requesting help outright. As a teacher, or a parent, you can help to raise a reader by setting the example that reading is not a chore, you can make it fun, and it can provide the same stimulation as any other activity or hobby.
Reading to, and with your children often creates an expectation and a habit. Including reading in your day-to-day life will also normalize the activity and your children will grow to prefer to include it in their own day to day activities once they have more control over their options. Making reading materials accessible within your home and classroom is another way to cultivate the love of reading within a child. Making books just as easy to grab as toys or electronics keeps them in the category of fun.
Make it Interactive
Teachers have long used book reports as a way to develop interaction and engagement between students and what they read, and parents can raise a reader by mimicking that type of conversation at home as well. Reading is a way to flex creative imaginations and escape reality for even a short period of time and become engulfed in the world created by the words. The imagination of a child is non-stop, especially in school aged children. Books are a great way to introduce different types of people, cultures, and experiences that your child might not otherwise be introduced to at this stage of life. By showing an interest in what your child is discovering through books you will encourage them to continue to learn and read more because they will be constantly excited about being able to share with you all that they have learned.