Studies show that children in households with various reading materials do better educationally. These children have more confidence in the classroom, higher self esteem, and are better conversationalists.
So with this in mind, when was the last time you saw your child reading a book? For some of you parents, the answer is in the month of “Neveruary.” Kids are so wrapped up in technology that, to some, a book is a foreign object. We can change that notion, help to eliminate our children’s low reading scores, and breed Readers. Reading is relaxing; reading helps focus; reading stimulates the brain; reading can be a group activity or it can be a solo activity; reading is rewarding; reading captivates; reading makes us think; reading makes us use our imagination – you get it? So how can you eliminate your child’s low reading scores? Here are some creative ways.
- Register your child as a book reviewer.
There are teen and kids’ reading websites. These websites will have authors send your child books in exchange for book reviews. Your child’s book review will be posted on these websites as well. What kid wouldn’t love to have his or her opinion of a book posted on the Internet? I’ll tell you where to go to register your child as a book reviewer – keep reading, please.
- Build a free library at home.
Your child gets to keep the books he or she reviews, so therefore builds a free home library. This library will benefit the whole family.
- Sign your child up to read to younger children.
A lot of library programs have Story Times, and look for teens and tweens to read to the younger children.
- Create your child a reading nook at home or a home office of their own.
Your child’s reading nook doesn’t have to be expensive. It can consist of huge colorful pillows, a tall reading lamp, two or three plastic milk crates that can be stacked to serve as book shelves. Purchase large wooden letters that spell out the words “Reading Nook,” and place them on the wall. Get your child to assist in creating their reading nook.
- Start with books that are short in length.
Don’t hand your child a 500 page novel – really? Begin with short stories and classical children’s stories.
- Give Book Companions
Book Companions are items that accompany a book such as a toy, piece of clothing, poster, tickets to a play, or some other outing, etc. Be creative when choosing a book companion for your child.For example, if your child is reading Beatrix Potter tales, like Peter Rabbit, then have an outing to a zoo, or you and your child create a meal at home of Peter Rabbit’s favorite vegetables. Even let the child choose the book companion. Some parents may see this as a bribe, but it’s not. If your child enjoys sports then get a book on his or her favorite sports team along with sports paraphernalia.
- Get your child a magazine subscription.
Kids, just like adults, like getting their own mail. There are some wonderful and inexpensive magazine subscriptions for kids, and there are some free subscriptions as well.
- Have your child read to you.
“Flip the Script” on your child, and have him or her read to you. Don’t forget, make it a short read, and nothing boring. If you want to read a newspaper, read it on your own. Let your child choose the read. Pay attention, sit up, turn off the cell phone, get off the laptop or iPad, no eating, and no TV. Be engaged!
- Give your child a Book Allowance.
Book Allowances can range from $1.00 to $10.00 a month. Why so cheap? The books don’t have to be brand new. Thrift stores and flea markets have really inexpensive books – I’m talking a dime, quarter, etc.
- Book Gift Cards.
What a great way to spend some quality time at a real bookstore. Some kids have not visited a bookstore – what as shame.
- The Book vs. The Movie.
If your child wants to see a certain movie and there is a book about the movie, then before he or she can see the movie the book must be read first. No, this is not extreme, it’s a way for your child to compare whether he or she likes the book or the movie. This also provides a great conversation piece for your child.
- Be your child’s Book Buddy.
Your child must also see you reading. You and your child pick out a book, then choose a completion date as well as a date on which the two of you will discuss the book – maybe even over a dinner at a restaurant.
- Have your child start a neighborhood Book Club.
Have your child choose a name for the book club. Get the names of families with kids in the neighborhood. Choose a reading day, time(s), and if snacks are going to be part of the book club. Choose the first book that will be read, then send out invitations. This is a great way to get to know the parents and kids in the neighborhood.
- Book Festivals are your family’s friend.
Children are book lovers too! Show your child that other children are wild about books. Book Festivals are a great way for your child to meet adult authors and children authors.
- Purchase your child a reading device.
Give your child an allotment for downloading books. Make sure he or she has great book Apps. Make sure the reading device is attractive with a fun bright color.
- Write Your Own Stories
Have your child write a story. This will assess your child’s vocabulary, assess their ability to complete sentences, as well as assess their spelling.
- Certified Reader
Who better to “certify” a child as a great reader than that child’s parents. Well, you don’t exactly “certify” a reader, but you can award your child with a Reading Certificate. There are so many printable certificates online, so pick one out, frame it, hang it near your child’s reading nook; give it to your child after he or she has read a certain number of books, celebrate! Have a certificate or even a plaque created for your child. Make a big deal out of your child’s reading accomplishments by having a family awards night. Make a big deal just like Oscar night for celebrities.
18. Purchase Audiobooks
One of my commenters suggested audiobooks, and what a great addition to this list – thanks Sarah from TheOrthodoxMama. Sarah says listen to them in the car and as a family.
19. Reading to Pets
Yes, studies show that when kids read to pets it’s so therapeutic for the kid, as well as fun!
20. Enroll your child in a Reading Program – check out this website.
21. Reading Bowls – Enroll your child in a Reading Bowl. What’s a Reading Bowl? It’s a wonderful way to get your child to read through a reading competition. Here’s how it works; there will be teams comprised of students from different schools competing to test their knowledge of the selected books. Check out this link to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl.
Reading does the following for a child:
- Assists in opening up a child’s imagination
- Expands a child’s vocabulary
- Increases a child’s cultural knowledge
- Provides a child with the ability to visualize
- Helps a child to write better
- Gives a child some understanding of how people feel and think
- Assists a child in processing information better
- Encourages a child to seek out different interests
- Encourages a child to open up to new ideas
- Gives a child words which will assist that child in articulating better
Here are a few children’s websites that look for child book reviewers:
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