You can make your children read for fun! | Mentoring in the Middle

You can make your children read for fun!

It's summer and your kids say they don't want to read.  "Reading is boring.  I did that at school!  I want to take a break!"

But reading in the summer is also fun.  
  • There are no due dates
  • There are no quizzes or tests or writing assignments 
  • They get to choose the books they want to read
  • They can reread books to their heart's content!
So, how do you keep kids reading?  Set a couple of good habits in place and you should be good to go.

The number one
Take your children to the library every week.  Let them look through books for a while and then check some out.  If they're old enough, help them get a library card.

If you can't get inside the library right now, look at books online and request them for curbside pick-up.
The number two
Have a time every day when you read to them if they're young.  

If they're older, insist on a quiet part of the day when they read their books or do something quietly.
Introduce them to new books they might like.  Don't know what books they should read?  Talk to friends or look for book trailers on Youtube or Vimeo.

In this blog post, I attached links to 11 different book trailers for books my sixth graders enjoyed this past year.  Depending on how much your child likes to read, these books would be good for most students from 4th through 7th or even 8th grades.
Celebrate finishing a book, especially if a child is reading to him or herself.  It can be anything:
  • a high five
  • an announcement to a friend or relative
  • a small treat
  • a special honor at a meal
It won't be long before you'll find your children enjoying the books and you won't need to be concerned about whether or not they're reading-ready for their next grade.

I've created two summer reading challenges - one digital and one you can print out.  In these, children read for a set amount of time (you decide how long) according to the instruction on the beach item.  When they are finished, they can cut and color (for the paper copy) or cut and paste (for the digital copy) onto the beach blanket.

If you're looking for other good books for your upper elementary or middle school students, you can read these other blog posts here or here.

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