Reading Help: Inspiring Your Kids to Read

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Reading help ...

In an effort to help my boys increase their reading skills, I have implemented a little program in my home this summer. Although both my children have above average reading skills, the last thing they want to do is read. As such, I've designed a little system to encourage them to read and to help them maintain (and improve) their reading level during summer vacation.

This reading help program gives them a ticket for every fifteen minutes of reading they do. Tickets are exchangeable for privileges, such as sleepovers, movie theater tickets or visits to the arcade. Before anyone accuses me of bribing my kids reading, let me explain my line of thinking. In the grownup world, we must work and save to buy privileges. Since we're preparing children to become adults, in their world, things must work the same. Although children don't go to work as we do, their job is to become progressively independent. Reading skills are crucial to independent functioning.

So far, my reading help program has been a smashing success. My boys are reading all the time now. They've earned two sleepovers and a trip to the movies. Best of all, they are sharing stories from their books with each other and with me. Since this is working so well in my home, I thought I'd share the reading tickets I designed with you, so you can help your kids learn to read or encourage further development of their reading skills. The tickets are a one page file that you can download and print out. (Also on the page is a blurb about the book I have written.) Design your reading ticket exchange program based on your children's ages and how much they like to read. (Remember, you want to encourage them to read more than they already do.) For instance in my home, twenty tickets can be traded for a sleepover.

To download the reading help tickets, click here

If you're trying to help a small child learn to read or a child who is struggling with reading skills, here are some suggestions:

Reading Help

~Read to your child. This is a way to capture your child with the magic of reading, so eventually, he will want to read on his own. Start early. I started reading my children chapter books when they were three and six.

~Buy interesting books to read. My boys complain that the books in their school library are boring. While there is a lot of reading material for girls out there, there's not a big selection for boys. Select books and novels carefully. A fun way to encourage your child's reading is to subscribe to a children's monthly magazine like Zoobooks Magazine for Kids!

My boys look forward to each new issue with excitement and devour it the moment they find it in the mail.

~Match reading material with your children's interests. This is essential in any reading help program. For children's book reviews (and coming soon, teen book reviews) go to Childrens Book Reviews

~Share your child's reading interest. If you implement a reading program in your home as I did, make sure to ask your child about the story or chapter book he is reading. Listen with interest as he tells you about the characters and how the story unfolds.

~Note your child's reading progress. Note how last year, he was reading picture books and now he's reading books without pictures on every page.

~Point out to your child the many things you are required to read as an adult. Note the importance of reading as a survival skill.

Download the reading help tickets file above and engage your child in a lifetime love of reading.

Laura Ramirez is the mother of two boys and the author of Keepers of the Children , a parenting book that shows parents how to raise children to act from strength and integrity.

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