Kuna Reads!

Posts Tagged ‘reading tips

There’s a pretty sizeable percentage of the population that views a love of reading as something you’re either born with or you’re not.  I’d have to respectfully disagree.  Sure, some kids take to books like other kids take to, well, candy.  But there’s room to encourage even the most reluctant readers to find their place in the world of books.  Here’s five ways that you can make reading more fun:

Let Kids Pick Their Own Reading Materials

Choosing their own books is seriously empowering for kids.  Whether they pick a winner or a real stinker (yeah, bad books are out there…), they start to develop a sense of what they like and don’t like.  This encourages kids to view reading as a big experiment where they’re in control of the outcome.  But what happens if all your child wants to read is Goosebumps and graphic novels?  Don’t sweat it.  As long as the material is appropriate to your family’s values and your child is reading—what could be bad about that?  Besides, I’ve yet to meet a full-fledged adult who considers Goosebumps to be Pulitzer Prize material; we really do grow out of it.

Ignore Reading Levels

Some reluctant readers don’t want to be judged on their abilities, so they stay away from reading out of fear.  What happens?  They don’t get the practice they need, and their reading levels really do suffer.  By letting your child read at the level they’re comfortable with–even if it’s lower or higher than you feel is appropriate–you help them learn to read for pleasure.  When your child is ready to more on, they will.

Incorporate Books into Play Activities

 There are thousands of book-related activities that go beyond, “Hey! What did you think of that one?”   Kids can create art projects around their favorite characters, make up new rules for board games based on their latest read, you can let them decorate their morning pancakes in Slytherin colors, or go to Arctic Circle in full Fancy Nancy regalia… Get creative and have fun.  Reading goes beyond books and bedtime, and those extra activities help kids build on what they learn in books.

Read Yourself

Despite how much they may love Wolverine or Kobe Bryant, you’re still the biggest role model in your child’s life.  If you show an interest in books, there’s a really good chance your kids will absorb and reflect this. If curling up with a book (or listening to audiobooks in the car) is a regular family activity, kids get the message that reading is a normal, enjoyable way to pass the time.

Seek out Exciting New Books 

Sure, you may have loved Hatchet growing up (and trust me, lots of kids still do), but if your young one still needs to be convinced that books are a viable alternative to Wii, going with something shiny and new doesn’t hurt.  Consider looking into graphic novels, which are written in a comic book style but contain complex plots and character development. (And quite a lot of actual words, too.)  Twisted Journeys are a graphic novel twist on the Choose Your Own Adventure format of the 1980s that’s still hugely popular.  Or, let your child browse the New Books sections in the Young Adult or Children’s section. 

What ideas and tips have worked for you?  Drop into the comments and share your ideas and success stories!

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