I’m giving Kaylin a break today as my sister and her husband came in yesterday from South Africa, so we were at my parent’s house last night to be with them. (What an exciting time for us! We haven’t seen them and their little ones for two years.) Thursday, Kaylin has her first Bible quiz competition, so she has a busy week. I thought I would write a post about some of the free reading programs they have in my area and nationwide that I use to encourage my children to love reading. I want my children to love reading as I LOVE to read. My husband also loves to read. We have books all over our house–literally.
Bookshelves in guest room
Bookshelves in dining room
Bookshelves in garage
Bookshelf in family room
We have four more bookshelves upstairs, and my husband has 6 bookshelves in his office! Yes, we are a little out of control, I realize that! I grew up with no television in the house, and we would go to the library every week in the summer where I would check out 20 chapter books–and be ready to get new ones the next week. In junior high, I would stress-out over grades and who-knows-what-else, and get terrible stomach aches. My mom would come get me from school, and I would read a book. My stomach would unclench and the pain would go away. Now, I don’t read as much as I used to because I will stay up all night to finish a book and be a terrible crab the next day!
I remember going to college and feeling so sorry for the students who hated to read. You have to read so much in higher education that if reading is a joy, the classes are so much easier. I had some classes where the main grade was, “Did you do your reading?” This would comprise sometimes hundreds of pages, but what an easy grade for me–and what a painstaking grade for others who hated to read.
When I taught second grade, I bought as many books from Scholastic and from garage sales as I could to encourage my students to read. I read every day to my class books that I loved, and I would have competitions and book reports to encourage reading. I wanted them to catch the love of reading.
And now I want my children to catch the love of reading. My oldest has. Totally caught it. Always is asking, “When can we go to the library again to get more books?” My second says she kind-of likes reading. What? That hurts! I want her to LOVE reading. Maybe my first loves reading because I read to her so much as she was the only child for a while. I couldn’t read as much to the others as I so busy. We do read every day, just not the quantity I read to my first. It could be just because that’s the way she is. So last week, I started to read Keeping Kids Reading: How to Raise Avid Readers in the Video Age, a book that had been free for the Kindle app a few days ago. (It is now $2.99.) I agreed with much of what I read, but not all of it. In chapter 2, she lays out to be what she believes the four laws of reading. Her first law is absolute. “Nothing should take precedence over it.” The “second law is absolute unless it conflicts with the first law. And so on.” So here are her laws:
- Children must love reading. And parents, teachers, librarians need to encourage that love.
- Children must form a habit of reading. So surround them with books and let them read what they are interested in.
- Children should learn to read with a critical eye.
- Children should learn to appreciate classical and multi-cultural literature.
Well, even with my love of reading, I don’t love classical and multi-cultural literature, so I didn’t get to the fourth step, but oh well. If my children can get the first three steps, I’ll be happy. So after I had read some of this book, Kaylin came home from school, and said, “Can’t we go to the library? I have NOTHING to read.” So I took them to the library, and Karis found some Nancy Drew collections books that she loved. She read one that very night! Yay!
There are many summer reading programs that you could sign up your children for to help them to love reading and to get them in the habit of reading. I can’t believe what people give away today to encourage children to read! I read when I was a child just for fun! But since the programs are offered, we do them! Talk about thrifty fun–the only cost is the gas to get there, and then they give you stuff! We did four reading programs last year, and what they read counted for all four!
- We did two library programs. We live in a surburban area, and our libraries are truly outstanding! I used to live half an hour from where I do know, and the library in that town is our favorite library. The children’s play area and the way they lay out the books is second to none. They have great children’s programs every week for all children up to 5th grade in the summer. Since it’s a little farther away, we register for the reading program online, then we have to go in to the library half-way through and at the end of the program. Both times you go, the kids get coupons for free meals to various restaurants and fun activities like bowling, roller skating, and children’s museums. The last visit, they also get to choose a free book and put their name in for a drawing. Last year Kaylin won one of the prizes from the drawing–a free IPad–can you believe it? So that is the device I read all my Kindle books on. We also do the library program that is right down the street as well, and they give away the coupons too.
This is for children going into 1st-6th grade, and the Reading Journal can be turned in anytime between May 21 and September 3, 2013.
Step 1. Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal (PDF).
Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.
Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store.
You can see the books that are available to choose from on their website or on the PDF Reading Journal.
- Last year, Half Price Books had a reading program as well. They have not come out with any information about a program this year; but if they do, I’ll let you know! This is how last year’s program worked:
“If a child reads at least 300 minutes during June and July they can submit their reading log to get $5 worth of Half Price Books back-to-school bucks.” You could print off the reading log at home, take it in when done. They would give you back-to-school bucks which was like a gift card for $5 that you could use then or later. Two of my daughters got devotional books which they still use!
So read, read, read to your little ones, encourage your older children to read and read to them as well, and take advantage of any reading programs in your area!
What are some things you do to encourage your children to love reading?