Reading doesn’t come easy to every child. Some struggle to the point of developing anxiety about reading. Once a child displays anxiety the ability to learn diminishes. Believe me, my dining room table can tell you all about the tears it felt during difficult reading days. There is a better way. If your child struggles with the stress of reading it is time to implement some de-stressing tactics.
3 Ways to Take the Stress out of Reading
1. Story Telling
Believe it or not, there is a storyteller inside your reluctant reader. My dyslexic child is many levels behind in reading yet has the ability to create the most amazing stories. She enjoys dictating her stories to me and then illustrating them. The process encourages her to read her stories and begin to write them down on her own. As she desires to tell stories more, she expands her vocabulary and strives to read without feeling pressure but an urge to create.
One simple way to start is with Pirate Story Cards.
2. Reading to a Pet
Reading to a family pet will provide a stress-free atmosphere to the child. A pet will not correct, show impatience, or judge the child’s performance. A struggling reader feels the constant nudge of a concerned parent or judgment by others while reading aloud. No matter how supportive a parent is a child, the child still feels the pressure to improve. Having a person hear a struggling read aloud only amplifies the mistakes and causes stress. While reading to a pet, a child can just read without correction or feeling the pressure of having made a mistake. When the pressure is lifted, a child may surprise herself and you with how much she actually can read.
3. Echo Words
While your child is reading to you and comes across a word she is struggling with, help by saying the word along with her. Doing so will keep the flow of reading so the child can continue and enjoy the reading process. Providing correction before the child gets frustrated will help the child retain the word and build confidence.
STOP when your child gets tired. A tired and frustrated child will shut down when faced with more academics. Try to keep from the mindset that you are catering to the child if you provide help or allowing the child to stop a lesson or reading. It will do a child more harm than good if the child feels stress or that she isn’t “good enough” when it comes to reading.
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