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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Don’t Force-Feed Your Emerging Reader by GAP Author Kai Strand


An important key to a child’s developing literacy is to read and be read to frequently. Our school assigned homework of 20 minutes per day through elementary school. Twenty minutes can be a lifetime to a reluctant reader. Trust me, I know from firsthand experience.

So how do you get your child to put in their required reading time without a lot of whining or a spectacular tantrum? Don’t force-feed them the material. If your child wants to read The Bone Series by Jeff Smith, don’t wrinkle your nose because they are graphic novels. Ask your child to read it to you and experience something new for yourself. If they pick up the board book version of, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, don’t dismiss it as too juvenile. Allow them to read it again and again. Take them to a bookstore and let them browse the section that carries content with the appropriate reading level and let them choose two or three titles without your input.

Handing your child Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and expecting them to have interest just because it is a classic might turn your child away from reading more than enticing them to read. Setting Charlotte’s Web in a stack of several books for your child to choose from, might result in you experiencing the classic together when your child chooses it to read on their own and you take turns reading aloud to each other.

A child needs someone to guide their choices in order to assure the content is appropriate for their age and reading level, but they don’t need you forcing your childhood reading preferences upon them.

Reading is reading, whether it be a picture book or the instructions to a new board game. Letting your child choose what they read during their required reading time will make the experience much more enjoyable for both of you.

Guardian Angel Publishing has many titles for children from 0 to 12 years old. Browse our online bookstore with your emerging reader and let them choose some titles to fill their required reading time.


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About The Author:

Kai Strand is the author of the best selling GAP title The Weaver, a chapbook for tweens. You can stay informed of Kai’s upcoming publications and appearances by liking her author page on Facebook. For more information, visit Kai’s website at http://kaistrand.com/

12 comments:

Janet Ann Collins said...

Wonderful suggestions, Kai.

Donna M. McDine said...

Terrific article with great tips! Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
Donna
Award-winning Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website

Nancy Stewart said...

This is so nicely done. Children become eclectic readers when they read many types of books and magazines, as you've wisely pointed out here.

I enjoyed reading this post!

BarbaraB said...

Kai, this is good advice from someone who truly understands kids.

Kai said...

Thanks for the support! I hope the advice can help frustrated parents and young readers alike. Thanks for reading and feel free to share the post ;-)

Jenn (From the Mixed-Up Files) said...

Excellent tips! I couldn't agree more. :)

Charmaine Clancy said...

Wonderful article. In my classroom I keep novels like Harry Potter, graphic novels about monsters and gaming magazines amongst others to give kids plenty of choice.
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Melissa Taylor said...

totally agree!!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Amen! :)

Kai said...

Thanks for reading everyone and sharing the link. Charmaine, I love to hear that kids have choices in the classroom, too.

inluvwithwords said...

This is so true, Kai. Growing up I always thought that I hated reading. But my mother never took me to the library. And when I needed to read for a book report, she picked one of her books off the bookshelf for me. No wonder I hated reading. It wasn't until I was an adult that I learned to love reading. My children ALWAYS picked their own books and have loved reading right from the start.

Kelly Hashway said...

Great post! Children should be encouraged to read what they enjoy reading. My daughter is 4 and she picks out books I don't always enjoy, but if she wants to read them, I'm not going to stop her. In fact, I read them with her.

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