5 Ways To Get Teens To Love Reading

By Samantha Saunders

As an English teacher I have had parents reveal to me in hushed tones, as though imparting some secret information - "He used to read all the time in primary school. But then he just stopped." Why does this happen, this perceived halting to the reading practices of our youth? When do they stop loving reading?

Let's consider how kids learn to read in primary school. They begin with gaining an understanding of the sounds of the letters, which they blend into words, which then become the written word, which are then multiplied and woven into stories. Eagerly, children bring home their assigned reading books and proudly demonstrate their reading prowess to anyone willing to lend an ear. Progress is recorded and monitored probably through some sort of reading log, and may be charted against the rest of the class. It is a task that must be completed, a skill that must be learned.

The point is that the success and sense of achievement that children feel during this crucial time is as the result of extrinsic motivation. In many cases it is not the love of reading that drives young children to read in their primary years; it is the fact that it pleases their teachers and parents.

Once the process of learning to read has been completed and the skills successfully acquired, kids have nothing to prove. Some kids will read independently with minimal encouragement, a love of reading already intrinsic to their personality. But an assumption is often made that once a child knows how to read, they will continue to do so. Why do we make this assumption? Simply because children can read doesn't mean they will. Remove the monitoring and the reading log and the smiley face stickers, and what do you have? Reading purely for the sake of it.

Once teens reach high school they believe that there is no longer any need to read outside of the classroom. If it's not getting graded, why do it? Many consider it a waste of time. After all, most books have been made into time saving movies.

So how can we guide our teens away from the screen and towards the shelf?

 

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Benefits of Early Reading

By Jonathan Zeen Yick Quek

Teaching your baby to read at a very young age is one of the best ways to allow your child to begin learning independently. Parents who start to teach reading to their babies at an early age is embarking on a crucial stage in their babies' mental development. You will learn that when you teach reading to your baby early, you will improve your child's chances in excelling later in life.

Excelling In School
Teaching your baby to read, and doing so in a fun and pleasurable way, will stimulate your child's brain and help to develop a more sophisticated neural circuitry. Parents who did introduce reading early noted that their children were more likely to excel in their school activities as well as enjoy learning more. This is partly because the children's early reading experience has given them an invaluable ability for word recognition. But more to the point, it has cultivated other higher order thinking skills, such as the use of symbols, which are powerful tools for children to leverage on in their learning at school.

These children who were taught to read as a baby were also observed to have higher self-esteem and confidence levels than those whose parents did not encourage reading to. They tended to have a keener mind, and learn new things very quickly.


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