The Art of Reading on your Own

VSA Future Reading Tutor


A book can transport some readers to a diverse world of characters, settings, and conflicts that keeps them awake well past their bedtime, grasping at every word on the page. Others are struggling to keep their eyes open or their thoughts focused on the page in front of them.

The same thing that excites you could be a nightmare for someone else. So, what do you do when you have reading assignments to complete? Books for English class, scientific research projects, and war documentation projects for Social Studies classes are all possibilities. When you have a teacher, parent, or sibling to guide you through a task, it is less stressful, but when the task is on your own, it can be frightening and dreadful.

There are a plethora of tips available on the internet for dealing with the unknown—but the purpose of this article is to instill lessons that will stick with you and become a part of your everyday routine rather than tips. They can assist you in developing a positive relationship with reading, which is especially beneficial if the prospect of opening a book is frightening.

Different types of literature


The key to finishing your own reading assignments is self-motivation. Pretend you’re a timed reader. The key to stamina is consistency. Set a timer and extend it every week. Alone reading is a long-term race requiring flexibility and adjustments. The best way to improve your reading skills is to read a variety of texts, from engaging fiction novels to dense academic texts.


Reading can be difficult for some students due to unfamiliar words. Vocabulary practice, either independently or in a class like VSA Vocabulary, can help students improve their reading skills. Students learn to recognize and parse new vocabulary words, guess their meaning in context, and use new vocabulary words correctly by studying word roots, prefixes and suffixes, and parts of speech.


Add genres to your bookshelf or bookmarks. Less is more when it comes to fiction. From Young Adult to mystery and romance novels, literary fiction to fantasy and science fiction, there is something for everyone. Choose a library or bookstore website and browse their digital shelves for intriguing book covers or blurbs. Don’t be afraid to branch out: you might fall in love with a new genre, or you might not. It’s fine! There are many more genres.

Every day, read one newspaper article to learn about new topics, current events, and analyses. You can cross-reference multiple skills and apply them to your readings by incorporating nonfiction and fiction texts. A news story might surprise you, or your new favorite author might write an Op-Ed in the newspaper


This is not a five-paragraph essay. A reading reaction is just that—a reaction. Make marginal notes or share your thoughts, reactions, and reflections on the reading with a friend or family member. What makes a character or story tick? Do you support an idea or a character’s actions? Will the character’s anxiety cost him a scholarship? Can you relate to an article about test anxiety? Instead of summarizing what you read, write down your current questions, thoughts, and emotions. Responding to your reading is an active skill that will make you sharper and more aware of your own reactions.

It’s important to have a set of rituals ready for when you do find a book that grabs you. Keep encouraging and challenging your reading relationship. You never know where your hard work will lead.

Helping Kids Love To Read



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