It's that time of year that parents dream about. The season that moms and dads secretly start planning how they will spend their time is just around the corner. Yes, children of all ages will soon be heading back to school and parents across the country will do the happy dance and throw confetti as Madeline and Max board the bus to a day spent studying reading, writing and arithmetic.
For many, however, the start of a new school year means tears, threats and frustration. Children who aren't fans of reading or who struggle making sense of the words on the page of an assigned book often have parents who want to help but aren't sure what to do. The task of getting your child to read more and enjoy what they read doesn't have to be a dreaded chore, though. Here are some tips from the folks at Reading is Fundamental and the Children's Fiction Examiner.
Reading aloud to your child is one of the most-effective tools to creating a book lover. Also when your child sees you reading, it sends a positive message about books.
Find books that are about a topic your child is interested in. If your daughter loves looking at fossils or visiting the natural history museum, look for both fiction and non-fiction books on the topic. Same holds true for your son who dreams of being the next Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver.
Take trips to the library together. Even if your pre-teen chooses to read magazines about the latest celebrity heart-throb or the most-current fashions, remember: your child is reading.
Have kids research the next family vacation and ask them to present their discoveries at the dinner table. Encourage them to find out the history of the location, how long it will take to get there using different types of transportation and what activities the family can try once they get there.
Choose award-winning books for your child as gifts and rewards. When they ace that spelling test or as a treat for keeping their room clean, let them choose a book or surprise them with the next title in their favorite series.
Before you know it, your child will be sneaking a flashlight into their room at night to read under the covers.