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How I Finally Got My Kindergartner Interested in Reading

Updated on January 27, 2011

Reading: A Benchmark in Your Child's Education

These days all eyes are on education and reading is the first benchmark in a long series of standards your child will have to surpass in order to advance their education. So, at the beginning of this school year we were told that proficient reading must be accomplished in kindergarten in order to move onto first grade.

Nothing hard work can't accomplish?

Nope. In fact hard work was exactly the opposite of what was needed.

We tried reading and phonics cards first which didn't go over to well. He was bored, I was bored, it was boring.

Next was Step 1 Reader books. I thought super heroes like Batman and Spiderman were sure to pique his interest and make it less painful but the words were more complicated then the simple ones he was beginning to learn. Batman failed me miserablely and Jack was pretty fed up at this point. He actually asked me if he could stick to practicing reading at school from now on. Not what I envisioned.

Lastly we went the babyish picture word book route thinking a book with easy words in it would do the trick. Well he was able to sound the words out OK but this wasn't as interesting, he pointed out the books were for babies and my attempts to assuage him otherwise went nowhere fast.

Practice Kindergarten Reading and Still Have Fun

If first you don't succeed try try again. ( and change up your tactics)

I kept going out buying different books, trying to spark an interest in learning with me. It is difficult to strike a balance between a good book that is interesting to read and one that is easy to read. I was not going to give up.

Jack is a really cute and funny kid. Despite the frustration and boredom he was a really good sport and he humorously tried to convince me he could practicing reading the Wii instead.

At this point I was trying to mentally sell myself on the idea. Luckily I didn't quit and neither did Jack because we found our little niche and worked out the kinks.

After many painful attempts to find something that worked we finally hit the nail on the head when we began reading a very well known author of children's books, Dr. Seuss. Not only are his books perfectly written for the new reader they are written to be fun. My son loves to rhyme, something I learned when we started reading these books.

Rhyming in itself is a game for him, when we began reading Dr. Seuss' books I would find him laughing at what he was reading. Dr. Seuss' books are great, there are just a enough beginning words parsed with intermediate words to be easy yet challenging. Best of all there is just the right dose of silliness.

If your child is in kindergarten and practicing to read- pick up a Dr. Seuss book to read together. You read it first and try using funny voice to go along with the silly stories and characters he writes about. By reading the book first you can show your child just how fun a book can be paving the way for fun reading with your child.

Fun and Games

To really boost your son or daughter's kindergarten reading, try playing rhyming games when you are unable to sit and read. Have them take a guess at the first and last letters of a word through sounding out.(this has been good for my two year old as well)

Another great reading game to play is with sight words- ( I carry a sheet of star stickers for this one) have your child tell you when they recognize words on errands or around the house. My son loves to stop and tell me different words he knows just by looking at them.

Every time he tells me a word he know and where he sees it I give him a star sticker. He loves the validation he gets with the stickers. Encouragement is important too. Whenever he gets a sticker I am sure to praise his reading skills.


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    • Mama-n-Teacher profile image


      6 years ago

      I love Dr. Seuss and so does my son. I also love your tenacity in trying to find something that your son could relate to. Thanks for sharing!

    • megs11237 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      agreed Ocean and thanks for sharing 2. :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Ahhhh, I think Dr. Seuss has helped many children to read over the years, he is the best! I love books of all kinds and for all ages even kids books still if I can read to my younger nieces and nephews. I think this is a great topic, one that I am passionate about. I taught preschool and loved that age. Thanks for sharing!

    • megs11237 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks Leah, That is a good point with skipping grades and I agree. I think a the difference in between a grade can be big including the social differences.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      7 years ago from Western New York

      I have a five year old, and he loves the Dr. Seuss books! He also loves starfall (online): he plays the reading games fairly frequently. There are some schools that will send a child up to a higher grade for single subjects, which is better than having a child skip a grade altogether. My elementary school suggested that I skip the fourth grade, and I am very glad my parents kept me on grade level. For one thing, a child's social and academic levels are separate entities. Also, subjects like math go from concrete operations to higher level skills in the upper grades, and some kids won't make the leap when they skip a grade.

    • megs11237 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks Nell and Thanks darrke thoughts for the title suggestion. :)

    • nell79 profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Some great tips on how to get your child ready for kindergarten and also brighten those young minds by encouraging reading, but taking cues from your child too.

    • megs11237 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Gus, I have to say I love your comment. You put a smile on my face and I was having a bad day today.( job hunting).

      Its funny you say Victor Borge. I always thought about getting him piano lessons but he has a hard time with structured anything. Plus when I mentioned he said that type of music (classical) hurts his head. :)

      I appreciate his humor though since I can be a little serious sometimes. He puts a little smile on my face even though he is a freshie.

      As for school the Kindergarten teacher reports that he is extremely bright but " out of control" with a laugh. :)

      And the reading is doing really great. I think when he outgrows Dr. Seuss we will move on to Shel Silverstein. The rhyming thing works for us.

      Thanks again Gus :)

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      7 years ago from USA

      Howdy megs - That was funny how your little one was kidding around with you about #5. What a winner of a kid. Seems to me that he is a regular Victor Borge type. Nice for you to be so lucky.

      When we were kids in a family having 6 of them, our mother used to read with us, and she caused us to learn our reading stuff before we headed for kindergarten. That was both a help and a hindrance. While my classmates were all struggling with Dick and Jane went up the hill, I'd be sitting at my little table bored out of my mind, with the teacher yelling at me to read the book. Same thing with arithmatic. I was really great with it, including "long multiplication" until the end of grade 3, which was when the school nuts started to make me skip grades 4 and 6. I have never been able to do math ever since then. Mistakes can be made, but the reading never suffered anyway.

      I really enjoyed this article and will return for more when time allows. Thanks.

      Gus :-)))


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