When reading is a chore

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World Book Day. A lovely excuse to dress up as a book character and have a day of fun activities. Great.

But what about the actual process of reading and does this fun day actually help our special children?

Reading can be a challenge for many of our special children who absolutely hate reading. They see reading as something they can’t do. They see reading as a chore that must be done. They see other children read with ease and it’s frustrating that this skill is so bloomin difficult. Books don’t hold the magic joy of escaping to a world of dreams – but rather a taunting, spikey rose bush that niggles and prods.

So my advice:

  1. Read to your child every night with no expectation of them reading a single word. You’re trying to ignite a love of books 💜
  2. Find a variety of genres that they might like to read – factual books, comics, limericks, funny or spooky stories, letters
  3. Encourage them to listen to audio books – download from an app, Youtube or from Audible
  4. Get your child to read for a purpose –  such as a recipe, email, pen pal, instructions. If there is an actual reason to read, it may make it more meaningful and motivating
  5. Make it fun and not a chore – play reading games. Click this link for a noughts and crosses game you can have as a gift. There are loads of fun interactive online games available on the internet
  6. Many of our special children learn best through whole word recognition – so abandon phonics. It’s probably been pushed at school for years and if they’re still struggling then bin the st, sh, cl and th cards
  7. Keep calm and carry on – don’t put pressure on for your child to read. If you insist reading a dull reading book from school and answering dull comprehension questions, then the situation will just be fraught and there will be little progress and lots of hassle
  8. Let your child see you reading as studies have proved that good role models can positively affect children’s attitudes

So the answer to the question ‘Does this fun day actually help our special children?’ I think the answer is YES it possibly can. Reading is a joy and a pleasure. It is vital and a key to whole universe of opportunity. If a fun day ignites that in a child then bravo. But for our special children, we have to journey that little bit harder.

Have fun, keep it motivating and let me know how you get on.

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