The Rights of the Reader

Do you wonder if you should allow your child to reread favorite stories, or on the other hand, if you should allow them to choose their books? What about silly books like Captain Underpants - is that type of book really helping your child become a reader? And what if he's bored or hates the chapter book all the home-school curriculum suggest is good, classic literature? 


Basic Guidelines


When it comes to what's best for your readers we want to respect and abide by some basic guidelines we would give our adult selves. Some guidance and best judgement is recommended here but basically don't force your child to read something they find dreadfully boring unless it is necessary to fulfill a different purpose, and then provide ways to make it engaging: allow them to listen to the audio book or use it as a read-aloud or paired reading activity.


If your child chooses a book from the library and does not want to finish it, don't insist that he does. Life is too short to read books that aren't good and sometimes the best cover disguises the fact that a book just isn't our cup of tea. Now, don't let him get into the habit of never finishing a book because that is not good for habit development. Again - use your best judgement and think how you would handle the situation as an adult.


And those silly books and graphic novels? They are okay in moderation and they are preferable if your child is otherwise unmotivated to read or is overcoming a reading deficit. Interest will always propel a child to read more and try harder than a book he does not like.


I often hear parents ask if graphic novels are "real books". My answer: they are if they help your child become a better, happier reader! 


Allow your child to explore different genres. My son always made a beeline for the nonfiction section in the library and try as I might I could not get him interested in the pictures books no matter how lovely the illustrations.


It's All About Learning to Love Reading 

In short, we want children to love books, love to read, and become independent readers who feel empowered to make choices about their reading. Reading should be something they choose to engage in not something done to them or imposed on them.


Read, read more, read more often. ~ Mary 


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