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The 3 Most Important Habits for Academic Success

Tue. 10/02/2018

The top three habits for academic success are (1) reading, (2) reading and (3) reading. Ok, so maybe this is a little simplistic but reading is one of the most fundamental skills needed to succeed in life. Developing good reading habits is not only vital to academic success but a contributing factor to success well beyond the classroom.

Reading and Reading Comprehension

Although many children can read, reading and reading comprehension are two different things. Reading involves translating and decoding text into sounds and spoken words, while reading comprehension involves taking what was read and deriving meaning. Without comprehension, reading is simply following words on a page from left to right while sounding them out; the words themselves have no meaning.

Importance of Learning Reading Comprehension 

“The importance of reading comprehension cannot be overstated. Academic progress depends on understanding, analyzing, and applying the information gathered through reading. Strong reading comprehension skills not only affect a student’s success but significantly contributes to success beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy, Executive Director of The Summit School.

If nothing else, think of the tests that influence advancement through elementary, middle, and high school; think of college entrance exams or even written tests taken for career advancement.

Encouraging Good Reading Habits In Children

Reading habits are set into motion at a very early age, long before a child enters school. So, how do you encourage good reading habits in your child?

  • Create a reading area; a place where your child feels comfortable.
  • Encourage reading at home and everywhere else – practice reading game instructions, menus, road signs. Show your child reading is everywhere.
  • Set an example – be a role model; reading starts long before a child starts school and continues through high school, college and beyond.
  • Make connections between reading and real life – make the connections between books/reading and your child’s own experiences.
  • Keep reading materials in the house and, when possible, visit the local library. Let your child pick the books that catch their attention. Research indicates a strong link between “high print households” and academic success.
  • Talk about what your child is reading.
  • Read to your child each night – children develop the motivation to read by being read to from infancy; they learn firsthand the pleasure reading can bring.
  • Support your child – if your child is having difficulty reading and gets frustrated, take a step back and see where they are struggling.

When Should I Worry About My Child’s Reading Ability

If, at any age or any time, your child is having difficulty reading and gets frustrated, seek help. Children learn and develop at their own pace and reading is no different from other skill building. It’s common for kids to find reading challenging at one point or another. However, if learning to read becomes a struggle and your child is child falling behind his/her peers it’s time to take action. First, talk to your child’s teacher and address the concern as soon as possible. If your child continues to struggle consider having your child evaluated. The evaluation can be done privately or through the school and should be conducted by a professional specifically trained such as a psychologist, speech-pathologist, or educational diagnostician. The earlier your child’s learning profile is identified the sooner teachers and parents can map out an effective academic plan and help your child reach their reading goals.

Resources for Teaching Reading Comprehension

On November 3, 2018, The Summit School will host its fall symposium, The Challenges of Comprehension: A Blueprint for a Comprehensive Instructional Approach. Participants will explore the role of language comprehension and how it contributes to reading proficiency. Nancy Hennessy, an experienced teacher and administrator and past president of the International Dyslexia Association, will present evidence-informed instructional approaches necessary for developing critical reading comprehension competencies.

For parents, educators and clinicians this is an opportunity to learn instructional approaches and gain the necessary tools that can be brought right into the classroom, immediate resources for students who are struggling with reading.

To learn more about The Challenges of Comprehension: A Blueprint for a Comprehensive Instructional Approach please visit www.thesummitschool.org.

About the Summit School

The Summit School was founded to exclusively serve children, grades 1-8, with dyslexia and other learning differences. Now in its 30th year, Summit has an incredible record of helping children become successful learners. The core of Summit’s program incorporates: highly trained teachers, researched-based instruction, hands-on, multi-sensory learning environments and low teacher-student ratios. For more information about The Summit School and Summit Resource Center please visit www.thesummitschool.org.