I love connecting with my students and their parents on facebook. I get to connect with them on a little bit more of a personal basis and find out what is going on in their lives. This week, one of my students, who is homeschooled made a cake for her dad. The cool part is that she read the recipe all by herself and created this amazing dessert for her dad's birthday. Now this is a girl that has a mom that is constantly finding books that her daughter will want to read. Since the library ran out of cat books that her daughter wanted to check out, they decided to try a cook book, and Rachel loved it.
She read all of the instructions herself and is super proud of her creation. This is the secret behind motivating kids to read. Finding what they will love, will be the key. Her mother said that when her son was her daughter's age she would let him check out comic books. It didn't matter that comic books are not conventional reading material, she knew that her son loved them and they kept him reading.
Let's think about our own reading. Do you like to sit down to read something that is boring and going to be hard? Heck no. We all like to sit down and relax with some fun reading. Something that is interesting though is that as adults we don't always sit down with fiction books. Most of our time is spend reading non-fiction text. I read books about how to improve things in my tutoring business, online marketing strategies, and self help books. I read spiritual material and books that will improve my life. I do occasionally sit down and read a fiction book, but certainly not as often as other material.
Rachel has keyed into something that other children are missing. You need to read about things that you enjoy. If you have a child that enjoys cooking, then you can check out the fun cook books at the library. If your child wants a new pet, then have them check out a book about how to take care of that pet. If your child enjoys comics, check out some of the great graphic novels at your library.
The biggest thing to take into consideration is your child's interests. When kids have a choice about what they are reading, they will be more committed to the reading process from the get go. You won't have to constantly nag your child to read, but you do have to consistently make it a part of your daily habits. The more you personally read as a parent, the more that your children will read. The more that you sit down with them at night and read to them, the less they will complain about reading. Reading is fun! Reading is cool! Let's all be great role models for our kids. Read what you enjoy reading and allow them to read what they enjoy to read.
Here's to the freedom of reading! May you learn something new or be swept away to a whole new world. The excitement and adventure await you in your next book.