Teaching Readers with Purpose
Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up near the fireplace with a good book. Reading aloud or taking turns reading provides children with enjoyable reading experiences that will help build their fluency and active reading skills. Before you begin reading, it is important to determine your purpose. Is the reading experience purely for enjoyment? Are you hoping to teach your child a new reading skill? Does your child need to work on their fluency? As the parent, it is important to determine the purpose of the reading experience before you begin. If you are asking yourself, what should my purposes for teaching reading be? How do I know if I am teaching my children to be strong readers? then this blog series is for you.
When I was just starting out as a teacher, I distinctly remember the excitement on my students' faces as I built the hype around our newest novel. We would dive into the first few chapters with a great deal of anticipation. But as we continued to read, I would begin hitting pause on our reading to pester my students with questions about vocabulary and character development and so on. By the time we got halfway through the novel, my most voracious readers had already finished the book, while the others dragged along behind. For comparison’s sake, I had made it a habit to hit pause and comment every 2 minutes on a great movie, driving all the viewers absolutely insane.
After a decade teaching reading and then working as a reading specialist, I’ve learned quite a bit about what it should look like to teach reading well. I’m even happier to announce to you that the homeschool environment is the perfect place to truly teach reading well.
One of the many benefits of homeschooling is that you can customize every reading experience to meet the needs of your children. You might be catering to a few different reading levels, but with a little planning, you can arrange your daily schedule to accommodate those differences and still carve out a generous amount of time for enjoyable reading. It is the environment that I desired for every single one of my private school students!
So what does research and experience say on how to teach reading well? Let’s begin by looking at the “end product”- what does it look like to be a strong reader?
Can you check off a few (hopefully all) of these traits for yourself? How about your children? Join us here monthly for our “Nurturing Lifelong Readers” series as we unpack strategies for nurturing these traits in our children so they become lifelong readers!
Read the next article in the series here!