When I became a homeschool educator one of the first things I did was teach my children how to read. Initially, I used a book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and then I transitioned to a computerized program called Funnix which was produced by the same people. (You can learn more at www.funnix.com).
With an awesome reading program I was able to reach my goal of having my kindergartners reading at a third grade level. My goal was to have voracious readers and that is what happened!
However, it wasn't all smooth sailing. At one point I was worried about my son Shaun because for awhile he only wanted to read comic books. In theory, I knew that was okay and that in time he would read chapter books, but I confess I was worried. Is there something wrong with his eyes? Does he lack comprehension? My mind was often flooded with questions and concern about his reading skills.
- Take a deep breath and say to yourself “Its going to be okay.”
- Start collecting books or checking them out of the library on any topics your child has expressed an interest in. It will be your job to find books that may serve as bait! Don’t push them--just put them out and see what happens.
- Surround your house with literature. Newspapers, comic books, magazines. Let go of the idea that your child must be reading the great classics and just let them devour anything. Let them eat up “candy books”--anything below level and easy to read! Your goal will be to get them hooked on reading. You’ll know you have accomplished this when you don’t have to force them to read!
“Good readers are good readers only because they read all the time. The fact that much, or even all, of their reading is of rather questionable literary value doesn’t seem to matter, at least until they reach high school age. By high school age, if they have been avidly reading since elementary school, they often move on to more complex, satisfying literature…….But it’s the early reading that they’ve done that allows them to enjoy more difficult books.” Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don’t