Getting Kids To Read

IMG_3108As parents, we’re always trying to get our kids to do what’s best for them: eat their vegetables, drink their milk, wear their helmets while riding their bikes, and do their homework (and this of course is only the beginning).  Getting kids to read is so important – and can also be …  During the summer there are a variety of programs to get kids reading over the break, some of which we featured in our Summer Reading Programs post.  When kids go back to school, how can we keep them going?  Here are just a few ideas we wanted to share to encourage kids to read more.

Set a good example!  Your kids will probably be more encouraged to read if they see you reading.  I don’t always have time in the middle of the afternoon to sit down and read a book, but there area always plenty of my books laying around.  When we go to the library or bookstore together, we both pick out books.  I still spend way more time reading books to my daughter than I spend reading for myself – but that’s ok with me!

Make a schedule While at school, students may have a designated time to read, or may have the opportunity to read if they finish classwork early.  Establishing a schedule at home can also encourage kids to read, one of the best times is right before bed.  While I was growing up, during the school year my Mom would only allow me to watch TV if I had read for the same ammount of time.  Getting me to read was never hard for her, but this did help.

Offer and encourage books they will like We make weekly trips to the library, and while there we both pick up some new reads.  I don’t mind what we read, as long as we’re reading.  So far, my daughter is pretty open minded to new books.  I do have most of the Fancy Nancy books memorized, but she’ll also listen to stories about dinosaurs, dragons, and trucks.  Take a trip to the library – or a bookstore, let them pick what they want to read.  They’re more likely to read more if they find something they’re really interested in!

Get involved in a rewards program There are a variety of rewards programs to consider.  Schools usually offer rewards programs as well.  One of the first programs that was introduced when I was younger was Pizza Hut’s Book It program, which offers kids free pizza.  Since then, there are quite a bit more.  Chuck E Cheese has something similar.  Reading Rewards offers printable charts and logs that kids can use and while filling them out they can rack up points that can be used for a variety of fun rewards.

Have any other ideas to share?  We’d love to hear them!  Enjoy, and keep reading!

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