Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageReading for pleasure helps kids in a number of waysGirl Image via www.shutterstock.com

Not being able to read is a problem but so is not liking to read.

Reading for pleasure has been linked to growth across many domains, including greater reading confidence, gains in general knowledge and insights that help disrupt negative stereotypes. Engagement...

imageReading for pleasure helps kids in a number of waysGirl Image via www.shutterstock.com

Not being able to read is a problem but so is not liking to read.

Reading for pleasure has been linked to growth across many domains, including greater reading confidence, gains in general knowledge and insights that help disrupt negative stereotypes. Engagement with books not only improves social relationships but also builds empathy.

However, with the current focus on tests and scores even at pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade levels, the tendency is to care more about ability than enjoyment.

The truth is, for most part, they are coupled together.

As former classroom teachers, we recognize how reading for pleasure builds not only reading skills but also leads to personal development. Our research has only confirmed this belief.

Children are not reading for pleasure

We know a large number of kids are unable to reach the basic proficiency level in reading.

According to the 2013 data of the National Center for Education Statistics, often called the nation’s report card, 32% of fourth graders and 22% of eighth graders were reading below the basic level of proficiency.

Pressures of testing have not helped. Instead, they have taken the joy out of reading.

Over the last 13 years, there has been an increase in the number of states that have enacted legislation on retention (or holding back a year) policies for students who do not meet literacy standards, with 32 states and Washington DC now requiring reading tests in elementary school.

In many Texas elementary schools, kids’ literacy scores are publicly posted. [Parents are given goals and advice] (http://ismychildready.org/testing-tips) on how to increase scores. As a result, the scope of what gets taught narrows down.

Such pressures haven’t quite helped improve learning. In fact, parents report high anxiety and nervousness levels in their children as a result of testing. These pressures have an impact on teaching as well.

Teachers have been found to teach to the tests, foregoing development of reading comprehension and more holistic reading habits.

Reading for pleasure could actually make a difference. Evidence suggests that kids who are highly engaged with books perform better on school measures, because they learn to enjoy reading .

Make reading a fun, social activity

So, how could we get our kids to enjoy reading?

Here are some ideas based on our survey of reading research on how to get started with young children, new readers and even experienced but disengaged readers.

To draw young children into reading, try building routines for reading together like before bed or after bath time.

imageYou could help develop a love for reading in your kids.Parent image via www. shutterstock.com

Making reading a social activity can also help engage young readers. So read with other family members, such as older siblings.

Young readers also enjoy reading the same stories over and over, and referring to characters during the day helps to build connections and literate lives.

For new or disengaged readers, a good place to start is by reading to them at least as much as they read to you.

When they are reading to you, remember that reading aloud at home should be about pleasure rather than accuracy; don’t correct more than a couple of words as they read.

You may also want to make space for them to tell you stories from the pictures; that is an important reading skill too.

Like with young readers, read favorite books over and over again. Repeated readings help readers recognize words quickly and automatically.

Find urgent reasons for reading, like signs, recipes, or directions for putting a toy together.

Remember, all books are good books, even if they don’t seem sophisticated. Kids will get bored and move on eventually.

Work towards reading for pleasure

When children are not reading as might be expected for their grade, it can be really hard on their confidence and identities as readers. It might also lead to concern amongst parents about their child.

In a society that is increasingly being built on an idea-driven economy, at least paying attention and working towards enjoyment and pleasure of reading - not just the ability to read - may help in other areas of social and school life.

So, make reading about enjoyment, not about the technicalities of testing.

Michiko Hikida is affiliated with the American Education Research Association and the Literacy Research Association.

Jennifer Keys Adair does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/is-your-kid-having-fun-reading-here-are-some-tips-39421

The Hannah Clarke inquest reveals, yet again, significant system failures. Here's what's urgently needed for women's safety

arrow_forward

So this is how it feels when the robots come for your job: what GitHub's Copilot 'AI assistant' means for coders

arrow_forward

The Conversation

Business News

How to Provide the Best Service Your Industrial Business Can

In the current business world, you may very well find that the difference between your business and that of your closest competitor is that of customer service. This is good as it is an area where...

NewsServices.com - avatar NewsServices.com

WhiteBIT continues its transcontinental expansion and enters the Australian market

Europe's largest crypto-exchange WhiteBIT continues to grow its business globally. The company has now joined the massive adoption of blockchain technology in Australia. By providing a secure and ea...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

How Business Permit Processing Works in the Philippines

Are you an aspiring new business owner? A business permit is a must for any establishment here in the Philippines. Without it, you have no legal right to run one. But do you know how the permit pr...

Angelo Castelda - avatar Angelo Castelda

WebBusters - Break into local search

WebBusters.com.au