One of the biggest struggles readers tell me about is their struggle to get their kids to read. Their children either balk at the idea of reading or even outright refuse. Reading should be something kids enjoy and want to do, not something that is forced on an unwilling participant.
I've thought of this often over the years and I've come up with a few ways to take away the pain and inspire your kids to read.
BY TAKING THE "ASSIGNMENT" OUT OF READING ASSIGNMENT
My children loved to read. They eagerly sought out newer and thicker books for themselves. They were avid readers.
That is... until they weren't.
One day I noticed that my kids were beginning to HATE reading. They complained... loudly... about reading for even short periods of time. And, that's when I discovered that reading had become "one more thing" on their list of school assignments.
Instead of reading for fun...
for the love of reading...
for the desire to jump into a new adventure...
they were now reading for a grade or reward.
At the time, the school they were attending participated in a reading program that was designed to encourage children to read by collecting points. At the end of the school year, these points translated into rewards like an all-day carnival. In theory, it was a fantastic idea. In reality, they were now reading as much as they could in as little time as possible just to earn the points. These reading assignments weren't just for rewards. They also translated into grades.
Reading had lost all appeal.
When we began to homeschool, I did the worst thing possible. I assigned reading passages with narration and comprehension tests.
And the hatred for reading grew.
I knew we had to bring back a love of reading and that's when we began adding rabbit trails and magic dust to our literature.
BY ADDING RABBIT TRAILS OF DISCOVERY
Inspiring your kids to read has to come from a place of happiness. Inspiration, in general, needs to live in that place where you want to do something just for the sheer joy of doing it. It has to be challenging and exciting.
So we started jumping down rabbit holes and wandering off on rabbit trails. In other words, we found little inspirations for learning and reading. While reading A Wrinkle in Time, we learned quotes from around the world and through time. During our reading of Wonder, we listened to the lyrics of songs and talked about pop-culture in the kids’ generation and my own. In The Birchbark House, we learned about an entire nation of people we had never known existed before.
These are just some of the rabbit trails we have gone on. Each book takes us on a new adventure and into a new world that is ready to be explored. We never know what adventure we are going to go on next. The book leads us, but we find our way by exploring the place, time, and characters.
BY ADDING A BIT OF MAGIC DUST
The absolute best way to inspire your kids to read is by sprinkling a bit of magic dust. Magic dust is the way we bring literature to life. While reading The Secret Garden, we made hot tea, crumpets, and clotted cream. During our family read-aloud of Charlotte’s Web, we visited the county fair and met “Wilbur” up-close-and-personal. In The Giving Tree, we made apple pies and ventured outside to where the trees live.
Adding that little element of “experience” takes our reading to a whole new level. It inspires the kids to dig deep and learn more. It brings the book to life.
BY CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE TO CELEBRATE
As the inspiration began to flow, the kids became more and more interested in reading again. Their love for finding a new book grew, and soon they started inviting their friends on their adventures.
As we read books, we planned elaborate parties to celebrate the characters we had spent the last few weeks getting to know. Our friends joined us for a “party school.” It was and still is our favorite part of homeschooling. The inspiration to read became an inspiration to learn and to share what we learned.
Along the way, I met new people who wanted to inspire their own kids to read. And, so I began sharing our fun, but each book is different, and there is so much to discover. I didn’t know how I could help all these busy moms who were trying to teach math, science, history, grammar and still inspire their reluctant readers.
That is until, a good friend, suggested I create online book clubs. This way I could share all the rabbit trails, magic dust, and party school ideas in one convenient place that would take all the hours and hours of work out of planning a literature study – because, I had already done the research.
And, so Literary Adventures for Kids was born.
LITERARY ADVENTURES FOR KIDS CAN INSPIRE YOUR KIDS TO LOVE READING
Literary Adventures for Kids is an online book club where we go on rabbit trails of discovery. We hop off the traditional roads of literature and meander down paths about pop-culture, history, biographies, poetry, music and more.
We take deep dives into some of the subjects touched on in the book and broaden our minds with new adventures.
We also bring literature to life by sprinkling a bit of magic dust along the way. These hands-on projects take us into the book where we touch, see, feel, and learn on our new adventures.
Join us on a new adventure and inspire your kids to read.