With so much time spent indoors during social isolation, keeping the kids away from screens can be pretty tricky, especially when you’re working from home and hoping they can stay quiet and occupied for the length of your call — at least. On top of it all, there’s the pressure of homeschooling. “Should I be homeschooling them?”, “How do I homeschool?”, “How do I find time to homeschool?”
Sound familiar? Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to support your child’s development without playing the role of teacher. One of the ways is by reading. Here are some tips to help your kids fall in love with reading in no time.
Though it’s not exactly “reading” per-se, listening to a book can be a great entry into books for kids who are a bit more reluctant to read — it’s also a good way to absorb information without looking at a screen. Audiobooks are useful for younger children who can’t read yet. It can save you time and keep them engaged and entertained.
Cozy reading nook
Reading tends to be so much better when you’re cozy and comfortable, allowing you float away into the world you’re reading about. Grab all the blankets and pillows you can find and place them in a corner or nook. If you have any fairy or Christmas lights lying around that’s always a bonus! Perhaps lay out a few stuffed animals to add to the coziness and to allow your kids’ imaginations to thrive. Stack all the children’s books in that corner along with a speaker or a laptop to play audiobooks. The cozier you make it (and the further it is from your workspace), the better!
Types of books
When children say they don’t like to read it’s often because they haven’t found their type of book. Depending on their age, pick three different books for your kids and have them read one chapter from each. For younger kids, perhaps stick to picture books about three different things, such as fantasy creatures, animals or family. For older children, pick three different genres of books, for example, a fantasy book, a sci-fi book and a historical fiction book. After they’ve read the first chapter have them pick their favorite to read in full.
Children love a prize, and though you’d ideally love for them to read without an incentive, creating a challenge could be a great way to ignite a passion for reading. Below is a template the Rescue Team has created for the challenge. Click it for a sheet you can print out. Place some colored pencils around the reading nook and have your children color in the clocks in the template. For every hour they read they can color in one pie section of the clock (this in itself tends to be quite fun and satisfying for them). Once they’ve finished one clock, give them a little prize of your choice. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy; it can be as simple as staying up a bit later one night to watch a family movie, a special treat or a cookie baking session. Find something you know will get them motivated and let them read away!