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February 1, 2019

3 min

Amy Pinter

10 Tips to Get Kids Reading

1. Anything Goes

Kids have to read in school. They get told what books, stories, lessons, and text to read and analyze all day long. It is no wonder that they have forgotten the wonderful mysterious worlds that lie between the pages of a book that is non-school related. Let them choose the book, or magazine, comic book, and even graphic novels. Reading is reading!

2. Schedule It

Busy schedules mean that somehow we just don’t find time to read just for fun. Sports, clubs, homework, and chores all seem to keep us busy. Then before we know it, the day is over and we fall into bed. Schedule bedtime a bit earlier and have kids take a book to bed instead of an electronic device. According to an article in Parenting Science, “The blue light emitted by electronic screens can reprogram the brain to delay the onset of sleep.” Tired kiddos mean kids are struggling in the day with activities and are not performing at their best.

3. Reading Corner

Remember snuggling up on the couch or dare I say bean bag and grabbing a blanket with a good book on a rainy day? Try creating an inviting space for your child to settle down without distractions, electronic free and relaxing.

4. Read Together

I’ve found that kids are more likely to read if their parents are reading. It doesn’t matter what you read but if your child sees you reading they are more likely to model it especially if they are young. Have story time before bed or even after school with the littles. It's a great way to calm them down. I like to have my teens read recipes to me while I cook. My reasoning, “I have old eyes, help your mom out!”

5. Unplug

Unlike 20 years ago, technology dominates every aspect of our lives. We can stream any show, friends connect with us live thousands of miles away, and we can turn off the lights in our rooms without leaving the couch. Thanks, Alexa! But sometimes the best approach is not only schedule reading time but schedule no electronic time for the whole family. Our family as an electronic-free day on Sunday. We made it Sunday because no one has school, homework, and many of their friends overseas are already starting Monday. However, any day or time works. We found our kids are more willing to play board games, go for bike rides, and read on these days. Despite lots of arguing and rolling of eyes; they kids enjoy it.

6. Share It

For older children, I try to read something in YA and share it with my teens are even ask them to recommend and share something they are reading or have read. Then we have some common ground to discuss that doesn’t involve me hearing about how I “don’t understand what they are talking about.”

7. Read Aloud

Kids with reading fluency or comprehension concerns do great with reading aloud. It is also fun to have younger kids read aloud like a mouse, the Hulk, or anything imaginable. Make it fun. Have your child read to you while preparing meals, in the car, or directions. It doesn’t really matter what it is but they will build confidence and love that they have your attention.

8. Join a book club

Sometimes trying to fit in time to read a book alone can be lonely for some. Get social and meet others by joining a book club. Many libraries offer book clubs for different genres and age groups.

9. Digitize It

For the families who love electronics and hate hauling around paper books. Try the Kindle app or Overdrive that lets you check out digital books from your local library with a library card.

10. Family Time

I loved those times when I was younger and the whole family was hanging out and reading together. Better yet, when we all piled into the car and went to the library and checked out bags of books and grabbed a treat on the way home. We often talked about our book picks and hoped secretly we would make it through them before their due dates. Whether its time at a library or a bookstore, it is a great time to connect.

Happy Reading!

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