Do I Have To Read?

Many children of all ages dislike to read. Whether it for an assignment or for enjoyment, parents and educators are noticing the rise of children that would rather “take out the trash” than pick up a book.  What many professionals have begun to notice is a tremendous gap between word recognition and reading comprehension skills due to lack of reading.  Like with any pursuit, practice makes “more perfect”.  Here are several strategies you can use to help encourage them to read:

  • There are so many things to do. You can encourage your child to read about a current sport or activity they are participating in, perhaps a biography!
  • Make reading a positive experience! Keep reading light or take turns reading with your child.
  • Have your child read to you without forcing them so you can monitor their reading skills
  • Take advantage of the media by going to the movies or watch videos related to the subject your child is reading about. (Use your discretion for appropriateness)
  • Do not permit the use of search engines for initial comprehension questions as technology can sometimes be the “easy way out”.  Have them go back to the passage, use context clues.

The ability to read and expand vocabulary carries over to all aspects of learning.  It also allows students to gain the necessary confidence needed to go forward in school. Studies have shown that active readers participate more in class and have a more active role in cooperative learning.  Once a child falls behind, they tend to be passive and less confident when it comes to answering questions and participating in class discussions.  The most obvious sign will be low test scores normally associated with non-readers.

Accountability in Education

Accountability is the assignment of responsibility for conducting activities in a certain way or producing specific results.  This is a subject that is under much scrutiny.  Who is accountable for your child’s academic success?  The answer is less obvious than you think.  We rarely hear the student take responsibility for their grades or lack of progress.  During interim reports, we consistently hear statements such as (enter your child’s tone — angry, whiny, sad):

“The teacher didn’t enter that grade yet.”

“Everyone in the class did badly on the test.”

“That teacher doesn’t like me.”

“The grade is really better than the report says.”

“I didn’t know about that assignment.”

“It’s not my fault.”

Children rarely take the responsibility for their actions. Great examples of accountability are the FCAT and EOC.  Even though most of us are not the biggest fans of these tests, there must be some accountability for what the child has been taught and what they have learned.  Life is about tests and there must be clear, definite ways to measure student’s academic progress.

With the implementation of the parent portal as well as other technology, there is really no excuse any more. We are all accountable for a student’s success. Due to the new legislation and grading practices, we are more accountable than ever.  All parties involved must do their part to ensure success.  With a set of realistic academic goals as well as the understanding of the child’s capabilities, accountability should be measurable and attainable.

Once a child is at the age where they can be accountable for their education, they must receive reinforcement from all areas so that they are intrinsically motivated to succeed.