Monday, September 14, 2009
Children need practice in reading fluency. Often children are reluctant to read aloud to family members. While students do need specific instructional times where adults are present to help students with reading goals, there is a place for children to practice without corrections.
Pets make excellent partners for this type of activity. Nobody has more patience to sit quietly and listen to a child read than a tired dog, cat, or other family pet. While they often sleep through the lesson, there is something comforting and restful in having a pet present while the child is reading.
Some animals are trained to work in schools as reading therapy dogs. They work in programs that bring dogs into schools for children to read to them. Children who struggle with reading often respond warmly to animals who will sit quietly at attention while the child reads aloud to the animal. The anxiety and stress of reading to an adult is just not present when reading to a dog.
Boston Globe Article
If you have a reluctant reader, consider enlisting a pet in your reading process. This is also a good strategy for children that need to practice reading or speaking in front of a group. Pets generally have the ability to listen to the same material many more times, than adults do without demonstrating signs of fatigue or boredom. A child will excuse a pet yawning or stretching far more than a parent.
Picture Credits ncbrian flickr.com