The holidays are upon us. Shopping, traveling, cooking, parties, and reading. What? Yes, don’t forget to encourage reading for your school-aged children over the holidays with the long breaks from school.
There are easy techniques to encourage reading over the holidays and it can be enjoyable for everyone involved. The key is to make it fun and set the expectation that reading is normal and fun.
How to Encourage Reading Over the Holidays: Reading is Cool
Parents have to dispel the myth that reading equals boring. It doesn’t. We have to battle the “nerd” personas often displayed in the media that show reading as being uncool.
“Don’t let ‘educational’ and ‘boring’ mean the same thing in your household.” -Richmond Times Dispatch
Reading is cool. We can encourage our kids by modeling reading. Even if your children are in the tween and teenage years and you’ve lost your coolness, they still respect you. Model reading and your kids are more likely to read.
Point your children to role models who read. GetCaughtReading.org has posters of celebrities, athletes, and cartoon characters who read. For only $5.00 you can order 1-12 posters to tack on the wall or donate to your child’s classroom.
How to Encourage Reading Over the Holidays: Ideas and Tactics
Hopefully you’ve established that reading is cool and it’s expected in your household. How do you fuel the reading passion in you children?
Ideas to encourage reading over the holidays (or anytime)
- Reading Reward System- A reward system could motivate many (not all) children to read. Try it out to determine if it works for your family.
- Follow their Passions- If your child is interested in bugs. The motivation is present and the path is clear or rather buggy. Find books, articles, and websites related to insects and bugs.
- Read the Best- The top books are awarded each year. Starting with the the Caldecott and Newbery Award winners are a great place to start.
- Read Aloud- If your child is having trouble reading, read to them or have them read to you.
- Establish Family Reading Times- Set a time during the day or evening when everyone reads. Yes, that means adults too without the T.V. on.
- Limit Video Games and TV- Video games and TV have their place in moderation, yet they steal valuable time that could be spent reading. Set limits and establish no screen zones.
- Magazines and Newspapers- Magazines and newspapers are a very inexpensive way to have updated reading material in your home without a trip to the library. Find a few magazines that your children will read and have them available. Here is a list of magazines to consider.
- Use Summer Tactics- What worked over the long summer break will work over the winter holidays too.
How to Encourage Reading Over the Holidays: Get Techie
If your child doesn’t have an iPad or other tablet, chances are good it’s on their wish list. An iPad or computer can be a valuable tool to encourage reading over the holidays, especially if travel is involved.
Here are a few ideas to encourage reading with an i-Pad or computer:
- Load it with Apps- Before you give an tablet device load it with reading apps and books that encourage reading.
- Reading Apps- There are literally thousands of reading apps for children that teach phonics to spelling. Add these to your mobile device.
- Free Books- Many free books exist on a Kindle Reading App or Google Books. You can purchase books on these platforms also.
- Checkout a Book Electronically- Many libraries now have thousands of titles for e-books. Check with your local library for specifics. Most likely they will use the OverDrive Media Console to connect with their e-delivery system.
- Read Blogs- Millions of blogs produce content daily. This is a great idea for older children who may have a specific interest. Help them set up their Google Reader to have a daily feed of their favorite blogs.
To keep your children from turning into mindless zombies over the holiday break, encourage reading. Model reading. Make reading cool. Be proactive with reading ideas and tactics. Get techie. Your children will read, grow, and thank you for it.
Enjoy the holidays and Happy Reading from the ABC the Key team!
How do you encourage reading over the summer and winter holiday breaks?
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