It’s that time of the evening. Much like the many days before and the many days to come I need to mentally prepare, gather my strength and brace myself for the inevitable struggle that’s about to take place. A struggle which demands patience and unwavering willpower.
Reading time. With an eight-year-old boy.
I should disclose that I’m not actually a parent, just a part-time nanny. But the after-school routine has become second nature to me over the last few years of picking the kids up and looking after them for a few hours until their parents come home from work. I have tutored maths, played games, cooked dinners, bandaged scrapes, weathered tantrums and cuddled away tears.
However, the quiet time between homework and dinner when things are winding down and the mood is perfect for settling into the couch and helping to hone an essential life skill with a child during a crucial stage of his intellectual development.
There’s an inevitable high-pitched whining noise that emits from this boy when he sees me choose a book for him to read aloud. It makes me dread the coming ordeal as much as he does, but I can’t let that show or the battle is as good as lost before it’s begun.
His go-to strategy is speed. He’ll try reading as fast as possible, cramming at least two sentences into a single breath at the cost of words like “and”, “with”, “the” or whichever other words he deems unnecessary. Punctuation and pronunciation are also sacrificed for the cause of what he believes will be a quick and painless end to his troubles.
WATCH for more info on getting kids to love reading. Post continues after video: