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First, we must acknowledge that we all have different strengths, areas that need improvement, and preferences. Reading may not be your child’s favorite activity. They may struggle, feel frustrated, or at this current time even loath the thought of reading.

Keep an open mindset that this feeling your child has towards reading is valid, but remind them that things change. Share statements such as “You don’t like reading YET, but you may like it in a week from now."

Early as an educator, I often got trapped into the mindset that if a child wasn’t reading out of a “proper book” to themselves that it wasn’t improving their skills. Motivation to read more can come in many different forms. Try out these ideas:

Click on those captions.

Watch the captions on their favorite movie or TV show with the sound turned down. This will allow your child to view more words and give them a bit of scaffolding if they struggle with decoding the words. Reading along is an excellent way to improve fluency.

Share the experience.

Participate in shared reading with your child. Choose a book with your child and tell them that everytime you clap your hands or snap your fingers they need to read the next word. This can easily be changed to meet your child’s learning goals. This activity will boost your child's confidence and bring enjoyment back into reading.

Practice your acting skills.

For younger children, a series that has figurines or stuffed animals of the characters is a fun way to motivate them to read more. Play pretend with your child with the toys and bring in features of the book. Reenact a scene or a funny saying that is in the text and then ask your child if they want to read that book together.

Let your child be the teacher!

Inform your child that you will be reading the book but when you make a mistake you need them to help you decode the word. Children love feeling like they are helping you. Your child will most likely be attentive to the text to catch your mistakes. This activity will help your child with fluency and accuracy.

Above all, never make reading a chore. Reading can take us to places we may never have the opportunity to visit in real life. Attempt to make reading magical for your child.

Looking for more inspiration? Watch this lesson on Bansho!

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