September 20, 2012
Whether it’s simple phonics books, trying to discover a love of reading, or wading through a classic tome as a teen, reading is an integral part of life and homeschooling.
Here are some ideas to encourage reading and make it fun:
- Have older kids read to the younger – keep two or three kids busy with one stone . . .er, book.¬† ūüôā
- Read to them, read, read, and then read some more.¬† It’s quality time with a parent and school at the same time.
- Ok, so if you’re sick of reading “Goodnight Moon” for the 30th time, try making of a recording of you reading aloud and let them listen to it 30 times themselves while flipping through the book.¬† On the computer, try a great open-source free recording software called Audacity.¬† On an Apple device, just use the pre-installed app called “Voice Memo” to make great recordings.
- Try my favorite ‘old school’ phonics series – the one I learned to read with in the ’70s:¬† I See Sam
- Check out Starfall.com – one of the best (and free) phonics-based websites out there.
- If your kids play Minecraft or other computer games with friends, encourage the in-game chatting they do back and forth = reading, typing, and spelling all-in-one.
- Peruse the ‘Series‘ section of your library with your child and pick out book #1 from a few series.¬† If you can find one they like, they’ll have lots of enjoyable reading as they work through the series.¬† Some of our favorites:¬† Henry and Mudge (early reader), The Animorphs (fantasy tween age), The Magic Treehouse (tween age), many Rick Riordan books (tween – teen age).¬† What are your favorites?
- Pick a reference book about a subject your child enjoys – a child who reluctantly reads storybooks, may spend hours watching birds and looking up their identifications:
- Look for a how-to book on a favorite subject.¬† Watercolor art lessons might be the perfect motivation to encourage your artist to do a little reading:
- Don’t forget magazines.¬† The short articles, lots of pictures and wide variety of topics may be just the thing for shorter attention spans.
- Reading and understanding written instructions is a valuable skill.¬† Help your child decipher the next set of instructions that come with a toy, gift, or new electronics.
- Don’t answer their questions.¬† I joke to my kids that, “I am NOT Google.”¬† When they ask a question, I help them search for an age appropriate article on the topic online and let them read about it for themselves.¬† Try the Simple Wikipedia for answers that are written in a more basic language with shorter sentences:
- Comic Books and Graphic Novels can be a great starting point for a reluctant reader.¬† My oldest particularly enjoyed the old style Superhero comic collections at the library, while my daughter liked the graphic novel, Rapunzel’s Revenge:
- Audio books can be a great
babysitterenrichment tool.¬† One of my reluctant readers was interested in stories beyond her reading capabilities.¬† I checked out both the audio CDs and the print book and had her follow along as she listened.¬† Her reading speed improved immensely.¬† This is also very helpful for some of the unfamiliar vocabulary found in classics.¬† It’s much easier to understand if you hear someone speaking the words.
- Appeal to their sweet tooth.¬† Tell them they can pick anything they want to make out of the cookbook dessert section.¬† Take it a step further and have them make the shopping list and go to the store with you to buy the ingredients. (writing and math done, too)
- Be the example.¬† Read in front of them . . . tell them to leave you along because you’re busy reading . . . hide in the bathroom to finish just one more chapter of your book before the kids find you ūüôā
- Next trip you have planned, get them involved reading about where you’re going, looking up activities, science museums, etc., to do while you’re there.
- If they like movies, have them peruse the descriptions on Netflix and pick out something to watch that evening.
- We all like recognition, don’t we?¬† A sticker chart for every book read, an outing after reaching a reading goal, your child could draw a picture about each book he/she has read and bind them into a notebook once a year, snap pictures of front covers, print them out and make a collage, etc.¬† Get creative with lots of fun ways to acknowledge the progress your child is making in reading.
- Pay attention to what you’re reading.¬† Basically, anytime you find yourself reading something, like this blog, for instance, see if it’s something your child might enjoy, like reading a blog, for example. ūüôā
Hopefully this list sparked some fun ideas to use with your family.¬† If you have other good ones, I’d love to add to the list.¬† Thanks!
Posted under Reading Curriculum