Studies have shown that the more words on a page your child is exposed to, and tries to read himself, the better his reading level abilities will be. High word count and practice is a better predictor of reading success than even teaching phonics or reading aloud to a child. So if you have an emergent or reluctant reader, it’s imperative that your make sure your child does Independent Reading every day.
Last summer when Bruce was reading at a first grade level, or G/H, he’s wasn’t that motivated to read on his own. It’s no wonder, because he was interested in books that were much higher than his reading ability. Since I’m a teacher, I knew that he had to just push through that. So the deal was that he wasn’t allowed to watch any tv until he had done “Drop Everything and Read” each day.
We started with just ten minutes of DEAR time, but soon we bumped that up to fifteen, then twenty, then thirty. By then his confidence and ability level had matured to the point that DEAR time wasn’t even an issue. I never have to ask Bruce to sit down and read a book now, because he’s now a self-motivated reader. I guess bribery was the answer!