A study was recently released stating that of all fourth graders in Utah, 69% are not read at a proficient level for their age and grade. That is a big number. While it is less than the national average of 70%, it’s a terrible number to live with. An article by the Deseret Morning News on May 19, 2010 says “Maybe a parent has less than adequate English skills to help with a child’s schoolwork. Or perhaps the parent just doesn’t care about helping with homework and is content to rely on schools and teachers to carry that burden. For these reasons and many more, some Utah children are struggling to learn basic educational skills such as reading”.
Both parents and teachers should be digging through their brains, researching, studying, and trying to figure out how to make this better. This will make your search a little easier.
Here are some of the reasons that kids can’t read:
- Lack of modeling. Why would kids think reading is enjoyable if they never see anyone they know doing it for fun?
- Ineffective public school program. The way they teach kids to read in public schools is ridiculous. Remember when you were a kid, and you learned sounds, and how to sound words out? They don’t do that so much any more. They learn the alphabet, and then they are supposed to learn do recognize whole words, memorize them, and somehow be able to identify new words. Interesting.
- Lack of discipline. If a kid can’t sit still for twenty minutes while you read a book to them, how can they possibly focus long enough to learn to read? Teach kids to be able to sit and do one thing for a small amount of time. If they can handle five minutes, great. Next time, try for seven.
- Lack of parental involvement. Maybe you’re all tired at the end of the day. The kids have been at school all day, you’ve been working, either outside or inside the home. Nobody wants to sit down and do something that is hard. Well, too bad. Do it anyway. Make it a game if you have to. Peggy Kay has a great book called Games for Reading that you can do in ten minutes or less every day. Give rewards. Do anything you can to ensure that your kid keeps up with his reading. He will ultimately fail much more often if his reading skills lack, and that is not what any parent wants. GIve you child the ability to succeed by helping him learn to read.
- Lack of vocabulary skills. Have you ever tried to read a book where half the words are words you’ve never seen before? If a kid doesn’t understand the words, the book is going to be BORING! and he won’t want to read it.
- A conviction that reading is hard. Once a kid gets it in his head that something is hard, it’s very difficult to convince them otherwise. Go back to the basics if you have to. Even if your kid can read some, get a primer, or an easy reading book to give them confidence. Try the awesome book “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”.
If your kid can’t read as well as you’d like, try a few of these ideas, and you and your child will soon be on the road to reading better.