Many children really do not like reading. Why? Often it stems from missing some basic reading skills. Many children who struggle with reading resist any opportunity to read, not even reading signs or labels. They fear they will get the words wrong, that they will be criticized, and that they are stupid or simply unable to learn. Of course we know that they will get some words wrong, we will do our best to encourage and not criticize, and NO these children are not stupid, nor are they unable to learn.
In my experience, children need encouragement, confidence, and motivation to begin reading. Many children with challenges and special learning needs become frustrated and give up. So, what do we do?
Listen to your child. Without being frustrated or angry yourself, ask your child 'WHY?' they do not like to read. This lets your child know that you are interested in their feelings, and that they have a voice. Reading should not be forced, but encouraged.
Try to determine your child’s learning style. Many young readers struggle because the basics of reading have not been presented to them in a manner that speaks to them. A kinetic/tactile learner will most likely only become frustrated if they are expected to just sit and read. Actually, the kinetic/tactile learner needs to ‘touch’ to see or hear the information. Follow this link, and take the quiz to determine your child’s learning preference.
Learn Styles. Provide a learning environment. Children are born with the wonderful gift of curiosity. I have found that providing a learning enriched environment at home can help tremendously. For example, we do not have the various popular video games in our home, but we do offer educational computer learning games for our children. Also, their playroom is full of books, maps, puzzles, activity books, art and craft supplies, and the TV programming is set to the public educational stations. My children are rarely bored at home, even on rainy days.
Library, Library, Library... Taking your children to the library section dedicated to suit their needs WILL encourage learning. Children's Librarians spend many hours designing various opportunities to explore library resources from a child’s perspective. Computers, puzzles, crafts, various contests and treasure hunt games, bring excitement to your child's library experience. Therefore, your child associates 'fun' with the library, and they will keep that with them for a lifetime.
Get your child specialized attention. If your child is really struggling, they need one-on-one time. Most classrooms can't provide this. Many school programs offer special services, but sometimes even this isn't enough. Especially if you are a working parent, and simply can't find enough free time to sit with your child and read to them, with them, and listen while they read, you may need a private tutor. A tutor can help your child because their job is to focus on your child's individual needs.