All of us would like to become better readers. Here are some tips for you and your ‘ohana.
- READ OUT LOUD – to yourself and to your ‘ohana. Use plenty of emotion – act it out – when you are doing it. This will train your brain to use emotion in your head when you are reading to yourself. It makes the story come alive. Arrange a time when you, the haumāna, read out loud to your ‘ohana and with your ‘ohana. It can begin as once a week for a minute. Build it up to where you do it nearly every day – see if you can do it for 5 minutes. Have your mākua, siblings, aunties, uncles, tūtū read out loud to you!
- BE SENSORY – While you are reading, stop for a second and experience what you have just read with all of your senses. Create a picture in your mind of what is happening. Hear the sound of the narrator and the characters. What are they smelling?, What are they touching and maybe tasting? What emotions are they feeling and what are the emotions that the narrator is trying to have you feel. The words will begin to come alive. When I read, there is a movie playing in my head – it’s better than TV because it’s mine.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE – It is very important that you have a time where you read non-stop for a good amount of time – 1/2 hour up to an hour a day. Reading is like surfing, hula, sports. Good readers read all the time. So push through your frustration. Wasn’t it frustrating and difficult the first time you got up on a surfboard or played a new game? And, if you did not keep trying, you never would have gotten better!
- WATCH A MOVIE WITH CLOSED CAPTIONING. You know that when there are subtitles, it is impossible NOT to read them. Believe it or not, when you have the closed captioning on, and you read along with the actors, you actually will be improving your reading speed, word recognition, vocabulary and pronunciation.
- TRACKING. One of the most frustrating things about reading is when we do not go immediately go to the next line. This is why we often reread lines, or skip down and forget where we are. Frustrating. Tracking is easy – use a finger to follow below the line as you read it. As you follow your finger (or your finger follows you) straight across the line and directly to the next line, you are training your eye muscles to do this expertly, eventually without a finger. Movements that we use often (like a basketball foul shot, like standing up on your surfboard, like playing the piano) are memorized by the brain after repetitive practice. So if you do it all the time with sports and music, etc., why not reading?