Monday, August 3, 2015

When Your Child Dislikes Reading

There are many reasons why some people dislike reading. Vision problems, eye muscle imbalance, learning challenges... Honestly, I don't have a lot of wisdom in how to deal with these issues.
Here are some articles that talk about why kids don't like to read.  Just a starting point.

10 Reasons Nonreaders Don't Read - And How to Change Their Minds

Children Who Can Read But Don't  

How to Help a Student Who Struggles With Reading..

Smart Kids Who Don't Want to Read 

Of my own 5 children, I have a voracious reader, a reluctant reader, and a couple in between. It can be hard to pinpoint what is actually going on with your non- or reluctant reader, and I'd like to encourage parents to diligently pursue this and seek help if necessary.    But beyond reading strategies and programs and curriculums and interventions, what do you do when you are homeschooling kids who don't like to read?

One of the great benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility you have as a teacher in choosing methods and materials.  So if reading is a struggle, I choose materials accordingly.  I looked for materials with lots of pictures, and with large print.  I read aloud - a lot!  I incorporated videos as much as possible. I looked for "hands-on" materials that included projects and manipulatives and movement, rather than strictly reading and writing activities.

My youngest son struggled with reading, saying it made him tired and gave him a headache. I had taught him phonics and he didn't have trouble decoding words.  His comprehension was good.  He loved to be read to.  But the physical act of ready and writing was distressing to him.  So I limited the amount of reading I asked of him.  I encouraged him to read "a little bit" each day, sometimes alternating reading with him, where he would read a paragraph and then I would read the rest of the page. I got children's audio books and stories on DVD, which he enjoyed listening to at bedtime or in the car.  For older children, some textbooks have an audio version.

Netflix and YouTube have been great resources for educational movies and documentaries to supplement studies.  We have always enjoyed watching movies that went along with things we were studying.   There are several websites that give suggestions for movies to incorporate in school.
Teach With Movies
Owl Teacher: Teach With Movies 
 Pinterest users will find lots of ideas there as well.
Movies to Use for Teaching

In addition to movies, there are instructional videos in all kinds of subjects.  For English, I might look for videos , Power Points and Prezis , etc on literary terms using Google or your favorite search engine. . For instance, when I wanted to teach about character conflict in literature, I found this on YouTube.

Peggy Kaye's series of books,  Games for Reading, Games for Math, and Games for Writing
are excellent resources that give ideas for fun and interactive way to teach your child, and these were especially appealing to my struggling reader.  He loves games of all kinds

Lapbooks are often appealing for struggling readers, although they will likely need a lot of parental participation in the creation part, depending on how much they enjoy crafty things.  But even if you do the bulk of the design and assembly, lapbooks offer concise bits of information in a visually appealing way, and are a great way to review material without a lot of reading. Plus there are things to open and close and fold and unfold. 
Homeschool Helper Online - Free Lapbooks.

Go out and DO things with your children. Not all education takes place inside with books or computers or whatever.  Go play outside. Observe nature. Go on field trips to every place you can think of.   Most museums, historic sites, etc have hands-on workshops you can sign up for.  Go to concerts and plays.  Build things and take things apart.  Create with paper and paints and pencils and clay and cardboard and wire and cloth.  Talk about how things work and why things are.  Be an enthusiastic and involved learner yourself, and your children will likely follow!

Not everyone is going to be an avid reader. If you have a child who struggles with or just dislikes reading, do you feel that you have failed as a teacher?  Is your child's future less bright?   Reading ability isn't the only measure of intellect or potential or worth, is it?  Fill your child's days with creative experiences and learning opportunities.  Be excited and postive; find his strengths and talents!  Read this little story and celebrate the uniqueness in each of your children.  Yes, work on building up weak areas, but never ignore the wonderful things that your child CAN do, or make him or her feel less than brilliant because of something he cannot control or change.


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