After a difficult and frustrating day at work, don’t you wish your spouse would greet you with the following?
Honey, I got an email from your boss. She says that you haven’t been working up to your potential. She also mentioned that your reading is really poor and that you’ve had a bad attitude about completing your projects. That’s why we are going to sit down together and work on some practice samples. Now… I’m only doing this because I love you.
My guess is that few readers would vote for this treatment as an effective way of promoting deeper marital intimacy and improved work performance!
Far too many children struggle all day long with reading… and other subjects. Then they face even more frustration when they get home. When this happens, their reading performance rarely increases, but their disdain for books does!
In my travels across the country, I see families torn apart by this stress. Kids get angry and upset. Parents get frustrated and depressed. Instead of being an island of calm from the tense world, the home becomes part of it.
May I suggest another approach? What if this strategy saved your relationship with your child AND helped them develop a much better vocabulary, understanding of language structure, and attitude toward reading?
Read to them, and have fun doing it. Do this even if they’re in high school! Do it as often as possible. Don’t stand over them and force them to read. Don’t nitpick their reading performance. Just enjoy your time together as you read… to them. Take the pressure off!
At our summer retreat in June, you’ll hear a consistent theme from all of the world-class presenters: The brain learns and develops best within the context of loving and safe relationships. That’s just one reason why reading to struggling readers is so effective.
For more tips on helping kids with reading, listen to the audio, Winning the Homework Battle.
Dr. Charles Fay