Well, it is that time of year again. My kids are off to school and I am excited to begin writing a brand new book. I will be creating the book through this blog and you will have free access to all of it’s content here. This book/blog series is called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Readers and will give you information on what you can do to create an avid reader.
Have you ever walked into a house and seen someone who had a ton of candles and none of them had actually been lit? We call these kind of people dusters instead of burners. It is the same thing with books. Kids that are highly effective readers are like these candles, they are burners. They burn through books like there is no tomorrow. The only books that are collecting dust are the ones that they have already read, but they are not willing to give them up because they have connected with these books.
Kids that are dusters instead of burners when it comes to books really need role models in their life that will continue to read with them and motivate them to pick up books. How do we instill kids to light that wick? Here are 15 simple ideas that might just energize them to wipe off that dust and dare to enter a brand new world.
1. Read with your child. Pick a book to read together and have your child read one page and you read one page.
2. Be the role model and read books you enjoy for pleasure when your child is watching. Kids often want to be like their parents even though they may not admit it to you.
3. Get to know your child as a reader. Find out what your child likes and dislikes. Does your child prefer fiction or non-fiction? What genre does your child like? What are the most popular books for kids that are your child's age group.
4. Take your child to meet an author. There is nothing cooler than meeting an author. It is like they are a celebrity and it amps the game of reading even more.
5. Visit author sites and see what they have to say about books. If you can't actually meet an author, the next best thing is learning about them online at their website, facebook, or blog.
6. Watch book trailers on YouTube. These are just the coolest thing. Go ahead an try it for any book and see what comes up. All you need to do is put the title of the book and then book trailer. For example, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid book trailer."
7. Write a list of your favorite books growing up and think about what your child would connect with most. Talk about with your child why it was one of your favorite books.
8. Ask your child what books the other kids in the class are reading. Books become popular for a reason, because they are good. Kids want to read books that are good, so if you educate yourself as to what those books are, then you will that much closer to having a burner instead of a duster.
9. Before your child picks out a book to buy, make sure it is at his/her reading level. Check the post from yesterday about the five finger rule.
10. Go through the books in your house with your child and weed out the books he/she has no interest in reading. There is no reason to hold onto books that are not going to get read. You can donate them to a family member, library, or Goodwill.
11. Take your child to the library with the goal of only picking out 1 book that they will invest the next couple of weeks reading. Kids who are dusters like to go to the library and pick out tons more books without actually reading them.
12. Join a book club at the library. This is all about accountability. When we are accountable to doing something we are more likely to actually do it. Discussing books with others is a great way to hold a child accountable to finish it.
13. Teach your child how to use reviews on Amazon. Books that have low reviews may need some extra consideration as to why your child wants to read it. Take the time to learn more about that book if they still show interest.
14. Stay calm when your child complains about reading and doesn't want to do it. If your child sees there is a battle with reading, they will try to win it. The last thing you want from a duster is resistance.
15. Always make it seem like reading something is their choice vs. something that they have to do. Kids aren't often given enough choices. They are usually told what they need to do. If they feel that reading is their choice, then they are going to be more apt to do it.
It all comes down to taking an active role in your child's reading life. Life can be very full at times for parents with work and raising a family. There is always more that we can do to help our kids with reading. By surrounding them with reading and reading activities, they are more influenced to pick up a book than to pick up the next xbox game.
What are some things that you do to motivate your child to read?