Growing up I loved to read. I remember devouring book after book. It seemed like there was never enough for me to read. I read a ton throughout elementary school, middle school and high school. In college I started to not read as much, not much for fun anyway. It seemed like by the time I finished reading what was required of me that I didn’t want to read anything above and beyond. Once college was over I became a mom and reading and moming don’t always go hand in hand.
Lately though I’ve been reading more. Not nearly as much as I used to but still MORE. I read bestsellers, parenting books, business books and books to help me grow. One thing I realize when I finally do get a book in my hand is how much I miss making time to read and even more, how much I love it.
I love that reading can take you to a whole new world and all the things that it can teach you. I want my kids to love reading just as much as I do. From when my kids are little we do the normal “get your kids to like reading” things. We own a ton of books for them to choose from. We read to them every day. As my kids get older I’ve realized that I have to do more. I don’t just have to read to them I have to encourage them.
1. Don’t Force them to Read. I don’t always feel like reading. You may not always feel like reading and kids are the same way. It’s important to listen to their feelings and not force them to read. If you force them to read reading can become a chore for them instead of something that they love to do. Sorta like my experience in college. I already had so much busy reading to do that for fun reading wasn’t a priority anymore.
2. Let them pick their own books. As a mom who loves to read it can be hard to not push certain books onto my kids. I want them to read that brand new book by one of my favorite children’s authors. I want them to love the books I loved growing up. But my favorite author and their favorite author isn’t always the same. The books I loved aren’t always the books they love. Letting them pick their own books helps them to stay interested in the content and more likely to pick up more books in the future.
3. Give them a Variety. Reading doesn’t just come in the form of books. Let them read kid-friendly magazines or play a board game that requires you to read cards. This gets them reading without even realizing it.
4. Make Reading fun. When I was a kid I used to love the Summer Reading Program. It was so fun to read and get prizes. Mason loved the reading program this year and it’s fairly easy to replicate something like that at home. For every 15 minutes of reading they can get a star. 5 stars can lead to something special that *they* love. Maybe a new book or a trip to the bowling alley!
5. Set a Good Example. Monkey see, monkey do isn’t just a saying. It’s real, especially when it comes to children. Encourage your new reader by setting aside time where you read. Let them see you and encourage them to read as well. Tell them what your book is about and ask them what book they’re reading is about. Get to know what they like to read.
Over the last year Mason has became such a strong reader. I’ve had a lot of fun helping him pick out books that he can read to me. Most recently we got to try out Elephant & Piggie Like Reading books, Mo Willems’ new beginning-reader series. The first two books in the series are We Are Growing and The Cookie Fiasco. They both use the classic dialogue-driven format that Mo Willems is famous for.
Mason, who just entered the first grade had no problems at all reading both of these books and he thought they were hilarious as did Kyla. I actually love them for Kyla too because the pictures are so animated that she “reads” too by looking at the pictures.
About We Are Growing
Growing up isn’t always the EASIEST.
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!
About The Cookie Fiasco
Four Friends. Three Cookies. One Problem.
Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . And four of them. . . What’s more, they need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!
Both books are currently available for pre-order and will be shipped on their release date, September 20th 2016.