Many times we as parents are willing to work to keep our children reading during the summer. We know that it is important for them to read outside of school. However, once school starts again we get busy. Homeschooling all day or after school homework takes up our time, and we let the reading time slip away. Here are some ways that you can keep your children reading outside at home even during the busy school year.
Make It a Habit
One of the best ways to keep your children reading all through the school year is by making reading a habit. Whether you read out loud to your children or they read independently, think about setting aside a time every day to read. It may be as simple as committing to read a picture book to your child every night. Or maybe you all sit down as a family to quietly read your own books for 30 minutes after supper. Whenever you choose, make reading every day a habit in your family.
Give Them Choice
Another great way to keep kids reading even during the busy school year is to let them choose their own reading material. Children that choose their own books are more likely to continue choosing to read even when they are not forced to. If your children are looking for more book options, make sure to visit either your local library or their school library to take out books.
Reward Your Children
If your children are like most, they love to get special treats and rewards. You can use that eagerness to keep your children reading. You don’t have to set up a complicated reward system. It can be as simple as giving your elementary child a hard candy to suck on while they read for 30 minutes. Or you could treat them to an ice cream cone for finishing a chapter book. Even something as small as a dollar store toy or a new box of crayons can be a fun treat for reading progress.
Yes, the school year will get busy. You will want to skip reading time many, if not most, nights. When you want to skip, remember that you want your children to love reading. And hopefully the promise of a small reward and the ability to choose their own books will help your children want to read even when you may not! How do you keep your children reading outside of school?
Photo by: Asian Development Bank