Let Them Listen

When was the last time you chose to do something you’re not good at and that makes you feel dumb? (If you can’t think of anything that makes you feel dumb and crummy when you try it, maybe you haven’t tried anything new in awhile.)

It’s humbling to remember what that feels like, and then to connect that to how our children may feel in certain situations, whether it’s trying a new sport, starting a new school year with harder classes, or picking up a book to read.

I’ve talked with a lot of parents lately who are concerned about their children’s reading habits. The problem I hear most often is the child is struggling, maybe behind, and therefore doesn’t enjoy reading. It makes perfect sense when you think about that feeling. Do you ever choose to do something you stink at? Maybe grudgingly, maybe only when forced. Continue reading

The 4 T’s: Tempting Our Children to Read More

These ideas are so simple, there’s almost no effort, except for number 4. They are really just places to intentionally put books into your child’s path. Access to books can make or break a child’s reading abilities and habits. The more good books we make easily available to them, the greater the chances they will pick them up and read them.

This photo was not manufactured for this post. It happened beautifully and spontaneously; this is the advantage of have books laying around everywhere (a nice way of saying the house was a mess!).
This photo was not manufactured for this post. It happened beautifully and spontaneously; this is the advantage of have books laying around everywhere (a nice way of saying the house was a mess!).

Jim Trelease, the read-aloud guru, has the 3 B’s to encourage more reading in your children. These stand for Books (giving kids ownership of their own books), Book basket (placing these in strategic places like the bathroom), and Bed lamp (so they can read at night if they choose to). Trelease’s website, Trelease on Reading, is a great place to find tips and ideas for reading with and to kids, and his The Read-Aloud Handbook is one of my most important resources when selecting great books to read aloud to my children. (I’ve mentioned it before here.)

jim trelease

We have some ways at our house that we increase our children’s opportunities for reading. I’ve organized them into the 4 T’s for Tempting Our Children to Read More. Continue reading