Straight up in the evening sky was a bright shining crescent moon! It was so awe inspiring that as I stood in my back yard looking up, my neighbors stopped to appreciate the beauty of the evening sky. As parents, or grandparents, how can we take an observation of the great outdoors and use it to encourage our children or grandchildren to read?
By using experiences in nature as an encouraging event, we can take our youngsters to the library and follow up by searching for books on the topic. For the youngest readers, you will want to choose books that you can share in the reading, or chapter books that you may read to them. It is important to be in the habit of sharing with your children what you read. Following an outdoor adventure, you could also choose a book on the topic of the moon, stars, or other naturalist type topic. By modeling for your children, you will encourage them to view reading as something moms and dads or grandparents do regularly.
One secret to raising a positive avid reader is to aim for a specific number of minutes, pages, or books in a certain length of time. Follow up your nature reading, with reading on a topic that they are interested in, such as horses, dogs, or science fiction. You can make reading a family affair by taking everyone on a reading-picnic! Pack a picnic lunch, take your family outside, spread out a blanket, and bring along a book for everyone!
Raising a reader also may involve incentives. You may encourage your child or grandchild by having a chart for stickers marking the number of pages, minutes or books read. Your child may enjoy a trip to the dollar store for trinkets when they pass a milestone reading goal measured in books, minutes or pages read. You can also enjoy healthy snacks during your reading time.
In the end, your child can become a voracious reader even if they don’t seem to enjoy it now. Allowing them to pursue their interests while reading can motivate them to find the joy in reading. You will feel the utmost happiness and success when your child begs for reading another chapter before they go to sleep. If you are interested in learning about the reading programs available at Columbia School District, email your child's principal, or contact me at Pamela.Campbell@myeagles.org or call 5175926641.