Between school and homework and soccer practice and ballet lessons, you forget that your kids should be reading to top it all off! So how do you do that with such a busy schedule?
Trust me, I know.
Besides finding time, some kids just DO NOT WANT TO READ. It’s ‘so much work’. ‘Do I have to?’ ‘I’d rather play video games!’
Time out. We can do that! You can play video games after we read together/you read a chapter or two.. etc. Depending on how old the kids are.
Work then play.
That’s a great motivation for them not only now but in the future as well. My kids hear it all the time.
Work then play.
OK so your kids aren’t used to that part? That’s ok, it takes time. Start them off easy. Just remember that it takes a while to break habits. But I PROMISE you, if you keep it up, always follow the rules you set, and make it fun… they’ll get used to it.
I HAD A DIFFICULT CHILD. He would do ANYTHING to not have to read, or write, or do homework. ANYTHING. He’d sit and whine with the work in front of him. He’d get told to do it. He’d whine more. (OH do I hate the whining! heh) A few times he even full out threw fits, crying, yelling, oh man.. he was in big trouble then, let me tell you! BUT after being in trouble more than a few times and sitting later and calmly explaining why reading/homework/learning is so important…
He would just sit and not do it. Sitting silently at the table just staring into space.
HOW DO GUYS DO THAT! I’ll never understand! *insert huge eye roll here*
AND THEN I finally got him doing work. BUT he would just insert random answers or circle in random letters to get it done. YAY!! I got him doing his work!!! And thankfully I checked them over before sending him to school to show his teacher the F he would have gotten had I shoved it in his bookbag.
Now, NONE OF THIS IS TO DISCOURAGE YOU!!!! It’s just to show you that we need patience!!! And understanding that if we didn’t start them off early doing this, and even if we did (I didn’t, obviously…) WE CAN GET THERE. It takes work and frustration and maybe even some tears, yours, or theirs, who knows, but it takes work.
This was MY CHILD.
Now? A year later? He reads over 50 books over the summer. (He’s 9, 4th grade.) He likes the small chapter books. He also likes to read other books during the year. And.. guess what else?
I HOMESCHOOL HIM!.
Who would have ever thought we went from the beginning of last year as a mess to successfully homeschooling, daily.
AND he even wants to try to skip a grade! Now, we aren’t study freaks but, I’m helping him do some extra work so he can take the test over the summer, if he still wants to do so.
SO… How do you get them to read?
Well, what do they like? How old are they? Start small, simple, easy. BUT make sure they’re actually reading. My now 9 yo was reading and he’d finish a book, I’d ask him to explain it to me and he could tell me maybe 2 things. He wasn’t paying attention to it at all!
I SO GET THAT! *thinking of the days I fell asleep on top of textbooks the night before a big test because it was just SO.BORING.* oops! 🙂
Find something they like. Take them to the library. Hook up with other moms with kids who like to read. I went to a homeschooling outing at a bookstore and my son found two friends.
One boy liked the minecraft books with him… and the game of course.
One girl liked the captain underpants books and wanted to see a movie.
FUTURE PLAY DATES! (socializing is important for kids who hang out with their crazy mothers all day)
And you know other kids influence your own. So, he started requesting more minecraft books that his friend said he read. He didn’t even say he liked them (well, it was obvious he did).. he didn’t explain them, nothing. He just said ‘I HAVE THAT BOOK AT HOME!!”
and now my kid wants it!
Get them in a routine. How often do you want them to read? One day a week? On the way to soccer practices? (This works well for me… and keeps my car quiet while my 9 yo reads to my 4 yo)
Figure out how often you want them to read, or you want to read to them, and start. Tell them how much they have to TRY to read. When you start, don’t force it. My 4 year old has an attention span of about 15 minutes. We’ll read a few books, study a few things, then he gets breaks.
My 9 year old however, can sit and read a whole, small, chapter book. Especially if he’s into it.
Just let them pick out 5 books from the library. Give them one on the day you want them to read and tell them to read a chapter. Or read for 20 minutes. If they don’t get into the book after a few chapters, let them pick a different one.
Find what they like.
Then, go from there. If it’s a series, there you go.. you’ve got 3 or 10 books in queue.
Just get them started. 🙂 That’s the first step, then you can go from there!
Be enthusiastic about it. If you are crazy interested in what they tell you about the book, they’ll be so happy telling you that they can’t wait to read more to tell you the rest!
What ages are your kids? Boys? Girls? Do they have any favorite genre? What books would you like to see posted and have the kids read?
Let me know in the comments!