Do you want your child to struggle through school?
Do you want your kid living in your basement for most of his adult life?
If the answer is “NO” to either of these questions then keep YOUR CHILD READING.
BELOW is a FREE solution that’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 and A, B, C. (So lame, I know, but I had to say it.)
While most students can improve their reading skills at any age, consistency and practice from elementary school through high school is probably one of the most important timeframes in a kid’s academic life. This is the best time to instill great mental and physical habits in your children. Reading a little bit each day (20 minutes?) can be the difference between a happy student and an aggravated student.
In a student’s later years, as you know, reading comprehension can be highly frustrating because so much is going on in the mind, not to mention the mental struggle that takes place during school comprehension tests. This is why every student should take reading seriously and use every tool possible to assist themselves during this process.
Reading summaries can help the lower level, less-practiced reader because more information is presented using informative writing (and usually easier vocabulary) instead of complex and fancy literary rhetoric.[THE REAL TEXT]
“I say, old chap. Locate the La Gioconda in the Louvre.”
“In Paris, France, there is a French museum called the Louvre. There is a giant glass pyramid coming out of the ground in front of it. Inside the museum, go find a painting of a woman from the torso up. She has dark hair and dark eyes. The person who painted her is an Italian painter named Leonardo da Vinci, and the painting is more commonly known as the Mona Lisa.”
Reading the actual novel, poem, play, or story assignment really helps. Hard to believe, but if the student takes the time to read the entire assignment slowly, it helps with comprehension. Don’t laugh. More students than you think rely on rushed conversations with friends about the assignment (oral summaries) or last minute gorging of online summaries on their “smart” phones (written summaries). Don’t get me wrong, smart phones are amazing when used to look up unknown vocabulary words or phrases. Below is what the brain picks up due to hurried and desperate reading tactics:[HA! THE SHORTCUT TO NOWHERE]
“In Italy there is an Italian girl named Lisa who is in a love pyramid with two painters named Leo and Vince!”
Reading with a pen (during step two) to underline and take brief notes on pages can help a student remember the assignment in detail during a quiz or test. Drawing boxes around character names and marking interesting passages will also create a miniature study guide to come back to for review before a particular exam.
OK, now how do I get my kid to do all of this?
Well, there are many different ways, but like parenting, it seems different methods work on different kids. Despite this, here are a few methods that seem to work for everyone.
A is for “ACTION”
Actions speak louder than words, which leads to more words. Wait, what? What I mean is that if you sit down and read at your house during a set “Reading Time,” you demonstrate the importance of reading at all ages. You can read the same assignment or something else. Both ways seem to help the student grow.
B is for “BATTLING”
No, I don’t mean fighting with your kid, although you may have to at first. I mean friendly competition. Reading the assignment together and then asking each other difficult questions will really add some intelligent interaction between you and your child.
C is for “CONSISTENCY”
Consistency is extremely important. Parents and students need to keep on a consistent schedule to the best of their abilities. Don’t expect perfection, striving for it is enough to get the job done. A consistent, meaningful message helps as well, such as, “I love you, and I want you to become a better reader so you can rise up against the challenges of school and life using something called knowledge.” Maybe this sounds silly, but it seems to send the right message. It beats, “I want you to get good grades and do well on the ACT and SAT so you can go to college.”
In the end, you probably won’t have to be as involved with the process as the years go by. At some point, your kids will start doing it all on their own. On the other hand, maybe you’ll have to help until your child finally moves out of your house.
Yeah, but your kid WILL be moving out…and THAT makes all the difference.
G. C. Schop