Children who can read do better in math and other subjects

Many times children enroll into our after school care and summer camp programs struggling with reading and comprehension skills.  My staff and I offer as much assistance as possible by reviewing the homework assignments, testing on spelling and vocabulary as well as providing strategies for students to develop the correct answers on their assignments.  Some children become intimidated by the ability to try and seek answers without direct assistance because they lack the confidence needed to explore the unknown. Since our programs are not set up on a tutoring curriculum, we do not teach new reading skills, as there are just too many children with this deficiency.

Studies show that children who read for pleasure are likely to do better in Math and English than those who rarely read in their free time,  research suggests. Children who are not reading on grade level by 3rd grade will have a very difficult time going forward.  It’s best to help your child to learn to read while as young as possible.  Reading is the best way to obtain information, knowledge and improve self-worth. Believe it or not, it helps to build confidence.

Children who feel confident about themselves, feel more confident about trying new things, meeting new people and traveling to new places.  A healthy self-esteem helps children to do better at home, at school and in the community.  Self-esteem helps children to make more positive choices.  Often times, when children exhibit discipline issues and defiance, it’s because they lack adequate self-esteem.

It is not the primary responsibility of the Teachers and caretakers to show children how to read.  The parents are the primary teachers and has the responsibility of training the child so that they are able to learn and grow into civil, responsible, self-thinkers.  The basic skills to read should be introduced prior to a child beginning school (pre-k and/or kindergarten).  However if a child begins school and they are having a difficult time reading, parents should ask the Teacher for tools and strategies to help the child to become an avid and confident reader.

Here are a few creative ideas you can use to help your child to become a stronger reader;

  • Simply purchase already made flash cards from Wal-Mart or an education store.
  • Create your own flash cards on index cards or cut pieces of paper by writing 1 word on each side and have your child to recite each word. Create 2 piles; 1 for the words they know and 1 for the words they do not know.  Reward your child for the words they do know and have your child to write neatly on a sheet of paper 3 times each, the words they do not know.  Do this each day for approximately 10 minutes. You will see your child’s confidence level improve as well as their writing skills.  This should not be a stressful task.  However it should be fun and enriching.
  • Label items around the house such as door, light switch, chair, etc; so that your child can see these words in the common areas.  The sight of these words will become part of your child’s ordinary living. Point out the words and have your child to recite them.
  • Put the subtitle captions on your child’s television shows.
  • Use apps on the child’s electronics. Instead of allowing them to play uneducated games, they can play games that expand the brain’s ability to learn.
  • Enroll your child in tutoring with an organization that will have your child complete an assessment of where they are as well as assess their growth.
  • Allow your child to carry books with them everywhere they go. Have books and reading material easily accessible to them.
  • Adults at home must set a good example by reading with them each day.  Children learn by observing.
  • Take your child to the library; participate in group activities, story time and workshops at an early age.
  • Most of all; MAKE LEARNING FUN!

         LaTanya Blackmon, The Mommy Coach

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