Roosevelt
Elementary School
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Helping Boys Learn to Love Reading

Boys and books don’t always go together. Perhaps it’s because a boy can’t shoot hoops with a book or score a touchdown with one under his arm; hence, finding the right book to spark your son’s interest can be a challenge. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Take him to the library or book store, or talk to his teacher about books that will interest him.
  • James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead is a good resource with a list of books that appeal to boys (and girls).
  • Find a magazine in his area of interest. If he responds well to it, consider getting a subscription.
  • Can’t get him away from the computer? Creative Teaching suggests finding a computer or video game that requires a good amount of reading. Search for some online, or visit your local gaming store.

While reading may be structured in the classroom, allowing him to choose his own material at home will bring him a step closer to enjoying it. According to Reading Rockets, it’s okay to suggest something, but ultimately, allow it to be his choice after first making sure the material is appropriate for his age. With your encouragement, your son could discover whole new worlds contained within the pages of a book.

 

Secrets to Raising a Successful Student

Raising a child to have a love of learning and a desire to succeed is much like walking a tight rope. If you push too hard for your child to do well, your child is likely to view reading, homework, and studying for tests as one big chore. However, if you are too laid back and don’t supervise his/her learning at all outside the classroom, then your child might lack the necessary discipline and motivation to succeed. So, exactly what steps should you take now to ensure your child will become a successful student? Below are some valuable habits you can adopt to help make the learning process fun and exciting:

  1. Encourage your child and acknowledge his/her efforts in learning. Phrases such as, “you read very well,” “you should be proud of your neat handwriting,” or “you are a good speller” all go a long way toward teaching your child to WANT to do well. Everyone wants praise for his or her achievements, most especially your child.
  2. Never refer to school or homework as a chore. Present an upbeat attitude and your child will eventually take the cue from you to enjoy the process of school and learning. Don’t make the mistake of simply asking your child, “How was school today?” because you will invariably get the one-word answer of, “Fine.”  Instead, encourage a conversation by asking, “What interesting thing happened today?”  “What did you and your friends do during recess?”  “What was the most fun thing you did today at school?”  These questions make your child become more aware of the enjoyable moments during school.  
  3. If your child is young, set 15 to 30 minutes a day to read together. If your child is older, set a specified time (during which the television and all other electronics are turned off) for the entire family to read silently. 
  4. Keep alert to what interests your child. Does he or she like to do puzzles or does your child like to paint? Each child is born with unique traits and talents. Observe your child to discover those gifts, and then encourage him/her toward similar activities or extra-curricular programs. By doing so, you will increase your child’s creativity and self-confidence.

Being a parent or guardian is the most wonderful role an adult will ever play in life, yet it can also be challenging. After all, your children have their own minds and personalities, so to get them to adopt your attitude and viewpoint toward learning, you will need to use a lot of positive reinforcement, praise, and patience. While that may not be easy, the payoff to having your child become a successful individual is worth all of those efforts.