Tag Archives: Getting kids to love reading

Day 4: Make it Visual (31 Days Towards Igniting a Love of Reading in Kids)

We live in a culture of praise.

Kids get a to stick their hands in a prize box at school, at home, at the dentist, at Sunday school and basically anywhere they show up and do not act like a complete disaster.

I have some issue about the over-abundance of praise and reward, a thought that basically centers on the idea of what happens when children raised on rewards on no longer rewarded as an adult. A future president of our great country is likely being given a cheap plastic toy and five stickers for merely showing up at school today. The idea is a bit frightening.

The idea of praise and reward stems from the visual and kinesthetic nature of children. They like to SEE how they are doing at something. Slapping a shiny sticker on a chart motivates a child to do a lot things (especially when young) because they enjoy the actual act of sticker-slapping (totally going to coin that phrase, by the way).

One can inspire a love of reading by playing into this desire of kids to see and be involved in their personal progress. Before you run off and stockpile a stash of kiddie meal toys to pass out for each book read, understand that I am not proposing that children be extrinsically rewarded for reading. Rather, create a way to publicly chart and display what the family is reading.

Enter: The Family Reading Log.

This Fall, we are keeping a list of all the books our family reads on our fridge. Even the adults are joining in on the fun as they write down the titles they finish as well. Creating a public space (visual aspect) where kids can write down (kinesthetic aspect) books read is a great way to get them reading. It opens the door for conversation about books read and books one plans to read.

Get friends and family in on the fun. When they stop by, have kids ask if they have read any good books lately. If so, give them a chance to fill in the title on your family reading log.

Everyone feels validated and proud of their reading accomplishments…and there are no junky plastic toys laying around in the end.

Day 3: Set the Example (31 Days towards a love of reading)

One of the most humbling aspects of being a parent is when you hear your words come out of your child’s mouth.

And those words are not pretty.

These words are not the standard off-limit four letter words. They are not swear words. Rather they are words of impatience, grumpiness and frustration. Ugh.

Such times leaving me running for my copy of “Power of a Postive Mom” and attempting my best impersonation of June Cleaver’s even tones.

These times also remind me that little ones are constantly watching my actions and words so they can follow my lead.

Fortunately, children do not merely hone in on our negative traits and copy them for all the world to see. They also pick up on our positive qualities, which can be a significant key to getting children to love reading. One of the best ways to get kids interested in books is to set the example.

Here is my nightstand

Obviously I have yet to embrace the e-reader)

OObviously we love us a good book around here.

Because we are both avid readers, our children see us quite often with a book of some sort in our hands. The husband is particularly good about telling the kids about what he is reading. He pulls out something interesting to share with them from his book. Regardless of the genre of book (business to science fiction…and everything in between), both children become really interested in the fact shared.

Set the reading example for your children. Turn off the TV, stop cleaning up the kitchen for the 7th time that day (have I mentioned that my seven year old somehow managed to have the world’s worst apple juice spill with only a 1/4 cup of juice the other morning? It was on the wall, the window, the baseboards and the floor. Sigh.) and sit down to read. Do not wait for little ones to be tucked in for the evening. Read now while they are awake and happily playing (even if “happily playing” only lasts about five minutes as it does in my house some days).

You will all be inspired.

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This is a part of a “31 Series” hosted by The Nester 

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