Without pressure and criticism: how dogs help children learn to read
Let's face it, the fear of "failure" (the laughter, judgment, and criticism that may come with it) is human. For some students, reading aloud in front of a class or teacher can cause overwhelming pressure. Even the smallest mistake can lead to embarrassment and undermine self-confidence, leading to a desire to do anything other than read. But there is a solution to this problem as well. The publication told about him Rover.
Solution? Read for an audience that offers no feedback at all, except maybe for a slobbery kiss and tail wag.
How service dogs teach children to read
Try dog reading programs. They are popping up all over the place as part of a movement to give kids a safe and inspiring place to learn a new skill that comes without any stress and actually relieves anxiety by increasing relaxation and lowering blood pressure.
These programs help not only students, but also dogs that have had a turbulent past, as well as volunteers.
How it works
The Reading Assistance Dog Program, abbreviated as READ, was created by Intermountain Therapy Animals in Utah in 1999 and pairs students with calm, trained service dogs who are more than happy to lend their ears to reading. Such programs are becoming the norm in schools and libraries across the country.
Armed with a book, the children plop down next to the dog—sometimes one-on-one and sometimes in a group—and read, often stroking and patting the dog as they say difficult words.
No pressure, no time limits, no criticism (however constructive) - just reading for a friend who is overflowing with love and covered in fur.
In some programs, simply reading to a dog is a stimulus. In other cases, students are rewarded with bonuses such as books "drawn" by their therapy dog, stamped with a paw print. They get them after reading 10 books.
A University of California study found that kids who read with a therapy dog improved their reading skills by 12% over 10 weeks compared to kids who didn't. But reading wasn't the only skill area making clear progress. Confidence in reading skills translates into other subjects as self-esteem grows and communication and social skills flourish. Even attendance is improving.
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Dog Reading Programs help students who are wary or fearful of dogs to better understand their new furry friends and overcome those fears.
The learning doesn't stop there. Students who have pets at home read to them as well, which means they get a lot of practice that they might not get otherwise.
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