Practical Tips to keep Kids Reading
There are hundreds of ways to get kids reading without forcing them to do it. Here are some that I have personally tried with my own kids. (In no order of importance)
1. Have them to exchange mailing addresses with their classmates so they can send and receive letters. Even if they live 1 block away, kids love to hear from their peers. It gives the illusion of being a "grown up" experience. For the most part, they've only seen adults receive mail, so it will be a special treat to receive something in the mailbox, just for them. This works exceptionally well in the summer time.
2. Put together a scavenger hunt using sections of the newspaper. Find word phrases and paragraphs in various parts of the newspaper and write them on index cards. In order to find the phrases, kids must A)figure out which section of the newspaper the article would be located in and B)Read.
3. Have them to read to a younger sibling. This allows them to show off their skills and the bragging rights that goes along with being the "older" sibling. It also makes them feel somewhat responsible for their younger sibling.
4. Help them to find books relevant to their interests. After being bored with school books all day, kids are relieved to know that there are books on subjects such as their favorite sport or their pet hamster.
5. Allow them to stay up a few minutes later while reading a book in bed. There's nothing they won't do to stay up a few minutes longer. They will soon discover there is nothing like cozying under to covers with a good book.
6. Start a neighborhood book club for kids. Provide refreshments and allow them to meet and discuss books (of their choice)at your home. The desire to read will increase with the social impact. Not only will they look forward to seeing their friends on a regular basis, they will take pride in the fact that it's their "own" club.
7. Send them emails on a variety of interesting topics from short stories to jokes. They'll get a kick out of checking email- and seeing positive communication from you is a welcome break from the usual "to do" lists or scoldings.
8. Enroll in Summer Reading Programs where they are rewarded for the number of books read. Usually Libraries are a good source for reading programs. If you can't find one in your local area, start one in your home for your kids. If you're feeling brave, involve your neighbors kids as well. A little healthy reading competition between neighbors can be good for the esteem. Everyone's a winner.
9. Purchase Personalized Books. These are storybooks that make your child the star of the story. Personalized books capture the childs' attention by using the child's name and other facts about them in the story. This boosts the child's self esteem and makes them want to read the book over and over again.
10. Enroll your children in book clubs where they can expect to receive a different book each month. Kids love receiving mail just for them. The book club selections are often a mystery so, they'll never know what to expect next.
Good Reading Habits start with you....
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