Why Non-Readers don’t Read and how to change their minds
Kids are not born with a natural talent for reading, it is a skill that can be developed. Toddlers love to listen to stories, and love to read books when introduced to them. They fall in love. They carry their favorites around and admire the pictures over and over again.
But when they grow up, many start to hate reading. What turns so many book readers into book haters? Kids give their reasons.
Headache or Hurting Eyes
Recent studies have said that nearly half of people who are labeled as learning disabled actually suffer from scotopic (light) sensitivity. People with light sensitivity find reading difficult and sometimes painful when the material is printed on glossy paper. If you have students who are generally cooperative but start to wiggle and squirm as soon as you ask them to read independently, be alert for signs that reading is uncomfortable.
Slower than their peers
Allow students to read at their own pace, even if it means that those slower readers don’t cover as much ground as their quicker classmates. While they are reading at their own individual pace, they will learn to read. They need to know that it is okay to be slow, and you should read no matter what their peers say.
Fear of Reading in front of everyone
Consider making reading aloud voluntary in your classroom. Give students the option of reading to you one-on-one only so you can assess their skills and progress. In addition to easing some of the stress, letting students opt out of public reading may improve the attendance, punctuality, and morale in your classroom.
Fear of opinion being wrong
So many students complain about the same experience, a teacher asked them to write their opinion about a book or story. The student worked hard on his or her essay and expected high marks for effort and content. They did not get marks as expected, now they don’t want to express their opinion. Those teachers sent a clear message, your opinion means nothing. If a student gets low marks, they should be explained why.
Struggling readers will blossom if you give them material that is so interesting they can’t resist reading it. That’s the trick, finding something so compelling that students forget they are reading.
Textbooks by definition are not interesting. Find some compelling magazine articles about people the same age as your students. Or maybe short stories.
This article contains excerpts and is inspired by an article on Scholastic’s website. Read the original here.