5 Myths About Children and Books, Debunked!
As a parent and an educator, I understand the battle of the books. Some kids love to read, and others won't even glance at the front cover of a book.
No matter what your child's preference for reading is, there are 5 myths that every adult must bust, in order for their little person to fall in love with the art of literature:
1) Kids that don't like to read won't ever enjoy books.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is false, false, false! According to a widely acknowledged study, children that typically don't enjoy reading have a certain niche that they like indulge in––it's the "I picked it out myself" book niche. Statistic shows that 80% of children that enjoy narrative and informational books choose the books themselves.
Takeaway: give your child a library of options and let him or her CHOOSE their book. If you have trouble finding some options, head over to a list of books for children that don't like to read.
2) Keeping a vast library for your child means buying all their books.
Don't you remember after-school trips to the library? I won't say how long ago that was for me, but I can recall spending hours looking at all kinds of books when I was younger. Not only will this save you money, but it will also teach your child the value of time (you gotta read it, to return it).
As your child finds their favorite books, they will begin reading them incessantly, because they know they have to give it back by a certain date.
Takeaway: a balance between a permanent library and a borrowed library is key. your child will learn to love the vast library of options at your local public library. If you're a bit out of touch with your communities public library use this database to help you find a branch.
3) Children have to read at their appropriate reading level.
Okay, before you disagree with this myth, hear me out. I teach special education, so I understand the importance of reading benchmarks and development. I also understand that reading beyond your ability is a frustration and a debilitating task.
If your child is one grade behind in reading, what he or she needs is not a really hard book that they are going to struggle through. They need to read more books, more often, and they should enjoy it so they can repeat that process over and over again.
With that being said, know that it's okay. It's okay to get that book you think is too easy for your child, if that means they will read it with 99% accuracy.
Takeaway: allowing your child to read at their level not only encourages more reading, and they will in turn, not give up on their reading journey.
4) Reading aloud to children should stop at a young age.
Oral storytelling is, way too often, offered only to young children. Studies show that parents stop reading to their children around 4th grade. Your child spends more time at home than they do at school. You have the influence to make reading fun for kids, even at older ages, when you read aloud. It is engaging, it mirrors appropriate fluency, and it develops their love for storytelling, both written and oral.
Takeaway: don't assume that your child doesn't want to read aloud with you anymore because they can read on their own. Continued group/family reading is important for long-term readership.
5) Non-book reading doesn't count as appropriate reading time.
Wrong again, ladies and gentlemen. If your child wants to read a cookbook, or a magazine, or the newspaper (if they even know what those are) it is still considered reading!
Parents (and even educators) get boggled down with the type of reading, and it is really about the quality and the frequency of the the child's habits.
Storybooks are great. After all, I write them because they're so entertaining and fun. Sometimes, though, a child's curiosity sparks and their attention wanders to words less expected. Encourage this. Let them read anything and everything -whenever they want.
Takeaway: as long as your child is diligently reading, let them explore. This means their love for reading is blossoming into something life-long. Obviously there are some things children should not read, but the worst thing you can do is takeaway reading material because you feel like it is inadequate.