Reading is the greatest joy I think there is to find in life! I want my children to feel the wonder and amazement of falling head first into book, the joy of fighting pirates, dancing with ballerinas and exploring space with astronauts. I want to see them walking through the rows of books in a library and wondering where to travel next, that is a real moment of magic and so with four kids I knew it was something I needed to show them.
Over the corse of the years passed my two girls had received books by the bucket load and were taught to love and treasure books like gold, I felt the worst crime a child iim raising can commit is not to look after books. I tell them often books are our greatest weapons in life, our biggest supporters and our most loyal friends so when I tried to introduce reading into tai and Linh’s routine it was met with some resistance despite both of them being great readers.
Getting kids to read is not an easy thing and so I started with a five step love to read plan I worked out myself and now I’m gonna share that plan with you below!
Step One : Assess their ability to read, no matter what the ability there is a book to read but a book that’s too advanced and too complex will cut their legs from out beneath them and we need to walk before we run.
Step Two : Let them handle books, take them to the book store let them wander and touch. A huge portion of book stores have chairs and even reading corners for children, they want you to get hooked they want you to touch and find you’re perfect fit. Let’s not forget a book is an investment like any other, we don’t want to just fill up our shelves with dust gathering paper.
Step Three : The cover is not the book so let them pick a book with a dazzling cover they love then choose one for them that maybe doesn’t shine so bright. Let them start with these books so they can see quickly the outside or first impress is not always a good way to choose what we love, (then make a mental note that one day you can say this all again for other things, as it works for friends, food, games, degrees… many things!)
Step Four : Ask them about the book a chapter in, what do they like about it? Does the lead character remind them of anyone they know? Finally ask them if the book if written with a narrator or are we in the leads mind. If they like the book YAY! If not teach them that three is the magic number. Three chapters is enough of a book to decide if its one we will like. It gives the book time to set the scene introduce the characters and layout the plot. If at this point we don’t love it and aren’t hooked maybe its not the book for us! We ask about the lead character because it may help them to build a mental image of the lead if we find a relative that relates, everyone has a great aunt like Ms Trunchball somewhere in the family tree. The last question I think is the most important. If we are in the leads head, we should think for him, plot for what’s coming, imagine how we will over come the tribulations to come with what we know about him. If it’s being narrated, question what you’re ”seeing”. If the lead is 14 would he know why a lake is stagnant? or what ultrasonic is?. are they good at science, do they read to? all these questions will build a connection to the book with your child and will get that love for adventure growing!
Step Five : Buy in advance, when your child is almost at the end start plugging the next book. Tell them there is more, excite them to want more. Get them addicted so that they are ready and waiting. I myself bought the next books and put them on the side, I found that even though I never mentioned the new books all four of them found the books and started to touch them sneak peaks and eventually asked if they were for them.
Do you find that you have children with different abilities do you have techniques to get them reading? Share any things you have learned or experienced in the comments section below and if you have any books you would like me to check out and review let me know and I’ll look into them for you. For more suggestions on reading check out this post by Family life our way!