Reading is the one most important skills for success in our society, yet being able to read remains a large challenge for many in our society. Yep, we are talking about literacy again!
Literacy isn’t just about reading though. It’s also about being able to research and critically think in order to learn new information. It’s about being able to navigate through the world through signs, maps, and general directions. It’s about unleashing our creative minds to solve complex problems. Yes, being able to read is a foundation for all of this.
It is the one constant factor of success in life. Now we do not believe that if you are not a proficient reader by a certain age, that you never will be, as some suggest. I have seen people in their teens and adulthood that learned to read and went on to be very successful. I know people who taught themselves to read because they wanted to participate in a game/ activity they were interested in.
Also there are degrees of literacy. Maybe you can’t read at all, perhaps you can read enough to get by but not grow, or perhaps there are just certain areas you struggle with but otherwise read well. No matter where you are, time and practice are going to be key for improvement. It won’t happen overnight, but you can improve little by little, day by day if you put int the effort.
Reading out loud is not just for those below school age. Reading out loud with older youth and adults has these same effects. It allows them to explore more complex concepts. It sparks the creative mind and allows the same type of visualization as if they were reading the words themselves.
Think about audio-books. I know a lot of adults who listen to books on tape in their cars or while they are working. I personally have the whole Iron Druid and Harry Potter series on audio-books because they are my favorite and I love listening to how they read them.
Perhaps you are a parent that struggles with reading yourself. Audio-books allows you to create that same experience with your child when you listen together. You could also get the actual book, and follow along with the audio-book to strengthen your reading skills (kids can do this too).
If you are struggling with reading, there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. There are all kinds of reasons why people fall behind in this area. No matter what the reason or how old you are, you can change this. There are resources all around you that can help. You can start by asking your local librarian. They may not always know the answers but they are great at helping you find them.
You can also start by checking out an audio book along with the actual book, and follow along with the words as they read. This is a good way to get started and start training your brain to recognize words.
Are you afraid someone will make fun of you if you look for help? Here’s a tip, people around you probably already know your struggling. It’s almost impossible to hide in our current society. Asking for help though shows strength, character, and dedication to grow. If anyone else thinks differently, then perhaps they are covering for their own deficiency in some area.
Illiteracy is an issue that can affect any age group and has many forms, but it is a solvable one. You just have to take the first step. We hope that if this is something you struggle with, that you will find the courage to find help. I promise you this, reading opens up a whole new world and a host of opportunities. Seize it!