I love reading and it started at a young age, it wasn’t because I was an early reader (actually I was a late reader!) and I struggled with it for years! My mom said she taught me to read with my legs in the air- ha ha. So what changed? When did I become an avid reader?
I think I can attribute the love of reading down to the challenge my mom gave me in middle school, for every 20 books I read (100+ pages) I would get $20!!! Now that was a lot of money back in the day and I have always been a goal oriented person so this was huge motivation for me! I still have one of my book lists from high school saved to show my boys- I just love a good list!
Maybe you’re someone who couldn’t imagine paying your child to do something they do every day for school? I can agree it seems far fetched, but when I taught high school art before homeschooling my boys- I noticed most kids were burned out on school and no one loved reading! I don’t think the reading programs are raising readers– instead they are creating early readers who get burned out.
When you get to read for your own pleasure you can escape into a book, you can spend some time finding the right book and you don’t have to be tested over it! There’s also my favorite saying “Readers are Leaders” and my friends, that saying is the truth!!! The most interesting people I know are READERS and all the great leaders of our generation are READERS!
So here are my tips for raising a reader in your home or maybe getting yourself back into the rhythm of reading:
- Let them see you read. You cannot ask your kids to read and love reading when you do not make it a priority. Even if it’s 10 pages a day, let them see you investing in yourself.
- Talk about the book you are reading and what you like about it- I recently read a memoir called Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs and the boys loved hearing about that book.
- Read aloud to them every day or at least on the weekends! Thanks to my friend Sarah McKenzie from @readaloudrevival I am fully convinced of the impact reading aloud has for kids of any age- it’s bonding for you and your child and it strenghens your relationship! I would recommend Sarah’s book Read-Aloud Family if you need inspiration or book lists.
- Research good books for your kids! Follow other bookish friends on Instagram (like Kim Christenson @talkwordytome) search Pinterest and Goodreads for similar books to the ones your child loves. I also like searching for award winning books just on my library shelf- those are always seem to be good ones (they will have a symbol on their spine at the library- or ask your librarians)
- Go to the library often! I love making a quick, weekly stop by our library to return and pick up books that we have requested. I also let the boys pick out books that interest them- we make it consistent- just apart of our week together. I love the idea that good books are always within their reach.
- Create a Goodreads account for them to track their books, set a yearly goal and update their status. This app is very private and helps them connect their reading with a goal- I also like that they can write a book review!
- Consider giving them an incentive like the $20 for 20 of 100+ page books or even $25 for 25 of 150+ page books. It might take your child all year to complete this- but it’s so good for them to have goals that are personal and attainable!
My last thought about raising a reader is for homeschool moms- create a book club for you and your child! Read the same book at the same time and then talk about it. This is what I do with my 10-year-old and he LOVES reading! This month alone we have read Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lidgren and 5 Times Revenge by Lindsey Eland, I request 2 of the same books from the library!
I hope this has inspired you to raise readers- for the download of that book list, get it below: