Beginning and slow readers, especially children, sometimes lack confidence and motivation when reading aloud. There may be laughs when they mispronounce a word or constantly being corrected. This can create a lack of reading enjoyment as it’s now a struggle and embarrassment. A one-on-one personal reader can then help the struggling reader.
Dogs don’t care if you hesitate, mispronounce, slur, or pause while reading aloud. Dogs don’t judge, criticize, humiliate, or correct mistakes. They don’t care about your age, gender, size, or clothing.
Dogs do enjoy treats, snuggles, walks, positive praise, and attention. Give a dog a friendly pat and a rub behind the ears and you may have just found a new friend. Sit beside your new ‘personal reader’ as you slowly read aloud with an occasional rub. Dogs give your full attention while you read with no laughs or critiques. Hopefully, this new ‘personal reader’ will help the reader gain confidence and develop stronger reading habits.
Many schools and libraries have read to your dog programs that foster a positive reading environment. So go ahead, curl up beside your furry friend and read a new book. Of course, make sure the reader understands to give the dog space and that the dog is friendly.
The photos are my own dog, George, who loves attention and snuggles.