How do I get my daughter to read more? The mother sitting across from me is not the first parent to ask me this question. In fact I would go so far as to say that as a tutor, it is one of the most common questions asked by parents looking to boost their child into the next grade level or help them achieve that extra 10% or get them into the best grammar school.
The reason for this is that the ability to read and comprehend text and critically appraise it is fundamental to all subjects at any level. It is most critical at an early age where not only does it encompass every aspect of English, including the ability to write comprehensive creative text but also it aids in problem solving in math and in answering high mark questions in science, geography and history. The list goes on.
Because of this the difference between a child in the top end of the class and the middle of the class at an early age can often come down to a mature reading level. Don't get me wrong. There are the exceptionally gifted at individual subjects but at a general level, reading is key.
Back to the concerned mother. She sits across from me on a Thursday afternoon after enquiring about tutoring for her child and in my usual probing of her concerns and expectations we get to the crux of it. Her 9 year old daughter does not read, dislikes anything to do with reading in fact and as a result her grades across the board are suffering.