Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Encourage Reading

This article is sponsored by Tween the Weekends.

Leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are falling, and the smell of fall is in the air.  It is that time of year again where I just want to curl up in a warm blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.  However, I have noticed this isn't typical of today's younger generation.  With two boys of my own I am realizing that all they want to do is play video games.  So it made me wonder, how can I get my boys, and other kids as well, more interested in books?  I have been doing some research, and this is what I have found.

* Read Aloud to your children!  This is a fun way to get children of any age to enjoy stories.  Try and do voices, or read with accents.  Help them visualize the story by showing pictures, or having them draw their own.  This is also just a great way to spend time with your children. They grow up fast, enjoy it while you can.

* Provide an ample supply of books, magazines, comic books, newspapers, etc...  Anything they enjoy is always better then whatever is playing on TV, or the video game console they want to play.  If they are watching TV consider turning on the Closed Caption so they can read as well as watch.

* Use reading as a "reward system".  I did this during the summer.  My children had to earn video game time by reading or doing chores around the house.  It helped them learn responsibility and got them to read more as well.

* Set an example.  If your children sees you reading, and enjoying it, chances are they will follow suit and love to read as much as you do.

* Visit your local library!  Participate in story time for younger ones, or encourage your older children to get involved in book groups. Let them choose books on their own.  Remember if they are interested in the topic, they will have a better chance of reading it.

* Play a word game in the car. Have each person take a turn reading as many words as he can from
street signs, billboards, store names, garage sale signs, etc. The player reads the words aloud as quickly as he can. It's a fun exercise and even though it's not a book, it gets kids reading.

* If your child likes video games or some other activity, maybe try subscribing to a magazine that goes along with that topic.

* Sometimes kids find it more exciting to read a series, rather than just a single book.  Help them find one that fits their reading level, and interest level.

I know I have only skimmed the surface of this topic, so let me know what has worked for you.  Leave me a comment, and I'll choose a couple to go on my Facebook Page.