What do you truly love to do? Paint? Play an instrument? Run? Plant a garden? Favorite activities such as these often become our hobbies. We seek opportunities to do them as often as possible, thus becoming quite proficient at them. The same result will occur for children who regard reading as a pleasurable activity.
"Reading for fun had a positive relationship to performance on the NAEP reading scores. The 87% of students who reported reading for fun on their own time once a month or more performed at the Proficient level, while students who never or hardly ever read for fun performed at the Basic level. Students who read for fun every day scored the highest." – The NAEP 2000 National Reading Assessment of Fourth-Grade Students
Activities and games that encourage a love of reading are few and far between. Parents and educators may instead focus on skill sets and vocabulary to better prepare youngsters for an academic curriculum or standardized tests. However, experiences that promote reading as a worthwhile and enjoyable activity are the most important of all. Children who want to read will, by default, become better readers. They will want to understand the text and will be more motivated to work through it if it's challenging. That is why The Reading House classifies "Loving Literature" as a foundational aspect of learning to read.
Uninspired and struggling readers are the ones who most benefit from Loving Literature activities. Struggling while learning to read is an emotional and frustrating process. Fun reading activities with no pressure of performance will pique the interest of this learning group. When children learn to love reading they are more likely to become classic readers. Classic readers are successful, independent readers and they usually display the following characteristics:
Confidence in self as a learner
Loves to read
Ability to use strategies interchangeably
Sees literacy models in his environment
Strong alphabetic and phonetic foundation
Involved in his learning
Comprehends by asking questions and seeking knowledge
Take the time to have fun with your child or students while reading. Love books as a family (or classroom) no matter what your child's age. Reading achievements will undoubtedly be influenced by these positive experiences.