Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Get your Kids to Turn the Page

Kids don’t like to read? 

Yeah, I’ve got one in my bunch, too.  But you can't just let kids not read, ever, because they don't like it, right?  Here's a few ideas to give them a little motivation to get through summer reading assignments.    Or if, they didn't get any from school, how to get through a few books during vacation on their own.

Photo taken by my little readers - their first few books for the summer.
  • Get them their own library card.  Something about having their own card and checking out their own books, makes my kids excited about going to the library.  This is more exciting to the younger ones, but the older ones do take more ownership for their books when they are on their own card.
  • Sign up for a public summer reading challenge. Our public library offers one every summer; this year, the kids got a free ticket to a local baseball game for signing up and win a prize for meeting their reading goal.  I also noticed Barnes & Noble will give kids a free book at the end of the summer if they have read a designated number of books and turn in a certificate.
  • Set a special reading time, 20-30 minutes a day.
  • Remind the kids that they can fulfill their reading requirements during times they would be doing nothing anyway - riding to camp, dropping off a sibling at camp, waiting at a swim meet, lounging around at grandma's, during adult swim at the pool.
  • Have family read-alouds.  Something like "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" and "Wonderstruck" by Brian Selznick is a fun option for children of varied ages - there's pages of text as well as full-page beautiful pencil drawings. 
  • Read plays and let the kids act them out.
  • Make your own reading challenge, maybe a certain number of pages or books or minutes.  My kids have set 1000 minutes as a goal. And you could be sneaky and throw in some math skills (adding, dividing, charting) to keep track.
  • Have your own family bookclub or parent/child bookclub with other friends.  I know a few friends who are in Mother/daughter bookclubs and it sounds like a fun idea. I think I'll try it before my girls are too old to want me hanging around with them (we're really close to that point, I think).
  • Get them to write their own stories.  Encourage them to find books they like, then write something similar - in the same setting or with the same characters, an extension of the story, or a new ending.
  • Set an example - let your kids see you reading and enjoying books.
Happy reading!

No comments: