Reading Confidence a magick all its own!December 1, 2020
Now that we’re all suddenly teachers, we have an opportunity to enrich our children in the very unique ways in which they need enrichment. Through conversation with a friend (actually several friends), I have found a couple of strategies that keep learning fun and light.
Is your child struggling with reading confidence?
Reading confidence is one of the most important skills that young children develop in their early academic life. Difficulty in reading is often framed as the child’s fault… if only they could try harder. The challenge and difficulty, that never goes un-discussed by adults or unobserved by children, can cause great shame! Shame carries a weight that can follow this child long into the future. This is an excellent time to work on growth mindset and benchmarking progress, rewarding the process.
Diversity of reading is one of the best tools to build confidence. We as adults do not read book after book after book. Instead, we read articles and blurbs, consider jokes and packaging.
Consider having your little one play a role in a play with other siblings, friends, or with you. The benefit of doing a play is repetition. The first time you read your line, at the end you may read something like “…he said sadly”. This gives you an excellent opportunity to have your child repeat the line, reading the words each time, but this time encouraging the emotion. The benefit of this is, of course, the more times they read the line the smoother it becomes. This directly correlates with reading confidence. You also get an EQ  lesson here as well – they learn how to represent feelings and see them in others. Finally, as a persistence lesson: the play can be a funny or dramatic one or a subject matter they’re interested in and because of that, it removes some of the pressure of reading, making it more enjoyable. Just allow them to be taken away by the interest. The dialogue of the play allows for them to have a break, as well as receive a demonstration by you. Be sure you mess up, sometimes correct yourself, do it better, then ask them how they think you could do it better, and take their advice. This allows for you to have the opportunity to show them that all criticism is not personal criticism and constructive criticism is only intended to make you better at doing whatever it is you’re doing.
Are you having trouble with timing and reading while keeping the rhythm?
Consider focusing on dancing, songs with hand movements, and telling jokes. All of these things practice good timing. Reading all the time can become monotonous. Trying jokes, songs, and dancing is likely to help the children focus on mastering the task. All while practicing timing.
Is your child having challenges with parts of speech and sentence structure?
There are actually two great solutions to this. One requires almost no investment at all. If you’re having trouble with the parts of speech doing Mad Libs will help you a lot. Mad Libs are silly and come in every topic found on the world wide web, so just go out and get yourself some. Making Mad Libs helps with sentence structure. The creator of the Mad Lib needs to structure their sentence well and label the missing parts of speech in each one correctly for someone else to fill out, or the end sentences won’t be so funny.
Just some fun ways to keep learning interesting!