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Is the "Matthews Effect"​ The Reason Your Child Doesn't Desire Reading?

Is it a herculean task to get your child settle down and read at home?!

It could be more acute than them just not "wanting" to read. ow much does your child read? I mean REALLY read. 10 minutes a day? 30 minutes a day? 1 hour a day???

It could be more acute than them just not "wanting" to read.

Children who dislike reading are usually struggling readers who avoid reading whenever possible when it’s time for reading lessons and assignments. It's like pulling teeth to get them motivated to read a required assignment(or for enjoyment).

Poor Readers Improve At a Slower Pace

There is empirical evidence to support the assumption that reading skill and the AMOUNT of reading experience are strongly associated and are a direct result of the lack of reading.🤔 Often times students are not engaging in deep, thoughtful reading at school because teachers are required to teach a full day of curriculum and it's hard to find time for uninterrupted and sustained reading during one block of time.

This means that your child might be affected by what's known as the "Matthews Effect" in Reading. Children who dislike reading are usually struggling readers who avoid reading whenever possible at all costs. Reading is seen as a chore and brings upon tearful, reluctant readers.

What is the Matthews Effect?

Well the "Matthews Effect" refers to the idea that in reading (as in other areas of life): the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. The Matthew effect comes from a parable told recorded in the book of Matthew 25:29. The idea behind the parable eventually took hold into educational communities.

The term Matthews effect was first used in the scientific field by cognitive science researcher Keith Stanovich who applied the term Matthew effect to reading when he observed the effect that poor reading skills can have on all areas of a student’s academic life. In other words, students who read more are stronger readers while, conversely, students who read less than their classmates become weaker readers. (There reading muscles aren't being flexed enough!:) Consequently, the lack of reading leads to disliking reading and ulitmately poor decoding, low reading engagement, and weak comprehension. Implement Effective 'At Home Reading' Strategies So how can you as parents to help mitigate this phenemon with your child?

There are four ways to immediately reverse this reading trend altogether:

1.Talk to your child and see what he or she is really interested in! There are plenty of book genres such as Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Romance, Westerns, Dystopian or Contemporary that's guaranteed to at least get him or her started on their reading journey.

2.Engage your reader while reading. Once you have selected an interesting book that piques your child's interest may sure you have ideas of how to KEEP them highly engaged with the book to the end. You can check out a blog post here gives ideas and tips on how to keep your child actively invested in their reading to completion.

3.Spend Time Reading Aloud. Reading aloud to children of all ages (not just elementary age) is a well kept secret with numerous benefits such as increased comprehension, vocabulary building, and increased listening skills. Through read alouds, learners will hear and have a visible example of successful writers create clear, engaging stories, and essays readers want to read. Now more than ever students must be able to express themselves in a compelling way to be heard or make a difference in today's society.

4.. Access this free training "How To Build A Stronger Reader Today" minicourse. I teach many of the above tips in a more in-depth 5- part series video here. The training provides these 5 parental tutorial lessons to get your child reading and reading with higher confidence which can be found here.

Remember this, enjoy your reading time together with your child. Encourage growth and remember to praise the efforts put forth by them. The "Matthews Effect" can be remedied with your child by beginning to build your child's confidence and love for learning and literacy above all else. :)

About the Author

Shauntelle is a former classroom teacher turned homeschool mom and now business owner. She is a reading specialist who teaches students how to discover the joy and power of reading and learning as director of the Ahead Of The Curve Homeschool Academy that offers affordable live virtual classes that are taught by certified and experienced teachers who challenges, loves, and build stronger children prepared for higher education. Her Ph.D. research is the role of Parental Involvement and Literacy achievement. In Shauntelle's spare time she is reading, watching basketball, and laughing with her husband and daughter Author Madelyn Grace.


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