Is your child a reluctant reader? How to use this summer to help that!
This is a great article with a lot of good sense about helping your child to actually enjoy reading.
Here’s what I learned about how to help your kids with their summer reading.
It’s not just about the book, it’s about the experience of reading.
If the title isn’t a fit, but it’s a must-read, then your best bet is to create an environment around reading that’s fun. Connect the characters or storyline to the real world — and talk about them. Frumkin has endless suggestions — cooking a dish inspired by the book, going to a museum or taking a road trip relevant to a character, tackling a relevant science or a design project. Draw. Write. Paint.
Yes, this is a lot more work for you as a parent. Also yes, it works.
But, yes, sometimes the problem is the book.
And that’s fine. A child doesn’t have to love every book he or she picks up — just like you, adult reader, don’t have to love every title you start.
“It’s okay to read a book and not like it. It’s okay to have criticism,” says Frumkin. “You can talk to other people about it, or write a review — those are good skills for a child to have.”
And sometimes, it’s the reader.
A lot of so-called “reluctant readers” simply haven’t found the right book, says Frumkin. So if you have options for summer reading, it can help to be flexible when it comes to genre or title.
If you can’t change the book, again, you can change the experience.
“As opposed to saying, ‘Go in your room, do it, and get it done,’ you want to make it a different experience,” says Frumkin. “Talk about it. Why do you like it? Why do you not like it? Let’s lounge out. Let’s make a reading tent in the living room, or another cozy spot to read. If they don’t love the book, make the experience as fun as it can be.”
Bribing is okay.
Think about it. What do most library summer reading programs do? They have built-in incentives — points! prizes! That extra, external motivation is sometimes all a kid needs to get through even the least compelling book. (Here are some tips on Reading Rewards That Work.)