October, 6

Read to a pet or stuffed animal (a.k.a. the value of stress-free practice)

Kids need to have a positive emotional relationship with reading. If reading is difficult, as it is for those with dyslexia, it can trigger unnecessary stress. Even strong readers can feel this stress if they are constantly worried about making a mistake. Stress is counterproductive and undermines learning. Therefore, it’s important to create a stress-free environment for children when they read.

Kids have a strong natural desire to please. Reading aloud to parents and teachers can cause stress if kids are worried about whether they’re doing a good job. For many of these kids, reading alone or to a sibling, pet, or stuffed animal can be less stressful and more productive. (McDonald, Reluctant Readers Allowed, Scholastic, April 4, 2013)

The downside of reading alone, while stress-free, is that a child can’t benefit from the guidance that a parent or teacher can provide. Rally aims to bridge that gap by providing kids with the opportunity to practice their reading in a stress-free environment, while also reaping the benefits of targeted feedback.


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