One of the greatest things parents can do to influence their children as they grow up is to model the very behaviors and values they hope to instill in their children. Reading is one of the best examples of this: every study shows that children who see their parents reading and writing are more likely to engage in those activities as well. So we’re kicking off a series of posts about how parents can be the best reading rode models for their children.
I was driving around town with my 8 and 11 year old children, running errands. I was telling them about a book I had just finished reading. My 11 year old says, “I wish I liked to read like you do.” Then my 8 year old says, “Yeah, I don’t like reading.”
HOLD UP. What? I had to pull over. Not because I’m a librarian, a literacy lover, or even the founder of a website about reading. But because my kids like to read. If I had to list 10 things about my kids, enjoying a book would make the list. Not number one (horseback riding, playing basketball, and building with Legos would definitely come ahead), but not at the bottom either.
One of the most popular forms of homework is usually some version of a weekly reading log, where students read for at least 20 minutes each day. As a former classroom teacher turned school librarian/reading specialist, I have mixed feelings about this assignment.
Let’s be happy whenever students are encouraged to read, especially if the alternative is a worksheet.
This is the type of assignment that could go a long way toward making reading a daily habit, if both the teacher and parents frame it in a way that makes it seem less like an assignment and more like a gift.
But when parents (and teachers!) fall into certain “reading log traps,” they may be causing more harm than good when it comes to nurturing a lifelong reading habit.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Required Reading Minutes/Reading Logs
On the last day of our summer vacation, I told my kids they could each pick out a souvenir from the national park gift shop. They chose the $7 grab bag of fake gemstones. Literally something we could buy at our local dollar store, and had no significance to the place we’d been. I was sure the stones would end up at the bottom of our toy bin. I cringed while I made the purchase and handed over the tiny drawstring bags to their eager hands. Read More
We’ve all heard this expression before. And while it usually conjures images of homes in just the right spot, the idea can easily be transferred to the reading life you and your family create.
In the same way that homes can increase or decrease in value because of their location, switching up the places you keep books can make reading more appealing or feel special.