Here at The Tutoring Center in Ocoee, Florida, we help children learn to read, but learning to read is a lot of times, for some children, not about intellectual limitations, but about overcoming fears. At home, you could make a place for your child to feel comfortable reading aloud to the family dog.
When it is only the child and the dog, (and a parent peeking in once in a while,) a child's dread is replaced by eager anticipation and learning occurs. Children who participate in this type of learning tend to make big strides in reading and communication skills and also build confidence, self esteem, and social skills.
Trained to Listen
If the family dog is not as enthusiastic about your child's reading abilities, believe it or not, there are actually registered therapy dogs out there who are trained and tested for health, safety, skills, and temperament specifically designed for listening to children read. Dogs are ideal reading companions because they:
- Help lower blood pressure and increase relaxation
- Listen attentivelydo not laugh, judge , or criticize
- Allow children to proceed at their own pace
- Are less intimidating than peers
There are programs put on by libraries that provide a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere once a week, which allows your child to practice the skill of reading. By sitting down next to a dog and reading to the dog, all threats of being judged are put aside. The child relaxes, pats the attentive dog, and focuses on reading to her. Reading skill improves because the child is practicing reading, building self-esteem, and associating reading with something pleasant. Ask your local library about these types of programs.
Another benefit is the joy children get from being around a dog. Most children naturally love dogs. Imagine the positive motivation this gives to the child as they sit by, read to, and pat a calm and gentle dog. Unfortunately, not all children are comfortable with dogs and may even have a fear of them. Interacting with a trained reading dog and their handler can help a fearful child develop a better understanding.
Tutoring in Ocoee
Pets can help your child build some of the skills necessary for reading
, and we can help your child improve academic skills
here at The Tutoring Center
. Call us for a free consultation at (407) 614-5980.