Summertime, and the Reading Is Easy

Last week, I recommended audiobooks and reading to and with your kids, as ways to engage them with reading. You can catch up here: Two Tips to Get Kids Reading This Summer.

I often have friends ask me for specific book recommendations for their children. The lists I give vary according to what I know and what they tell me about their kids’ interests, ages, and books they like already. Because I’m putting these recommendations out to everyone, I’m making them more general.

The bottom line: Find them books they CAN and WANT to read (or listen to). 

Here are some high-interest suggestions to get kids reading independently and willingly: Continue reading

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Read Across America Day: Making It Fun AND Worthwhile

Here I am again! I have been reading middle grade and YA fiction like crazy and have some to share soon. But right now, my life is overtaken by my son’s school’s Read Across America event. This is my second year to help with it, and while it can be stressful to organize, I’m proud we put on an event that’s both fun and worthwhile for the kids.

Here are the touchstones of our celebration at Holcomb Elementary in Fayetteville, Arkansas:

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

Challenge 2, Last Part (I promise): Fairytale Collections

How did you do with the Fairytale Challenge? Did you find some you and your children liked? If you started this challenge back around Valentine’s Day, you’re probably ready to move on, but there are just so many different variations in this genre, I wanted to give plenty of time for exploration. If you haven’t had a chance, just jump in and do it now.

Here are a few more recommendations. I think having one compilation or anthology is a great idea for ease and variety, and they usually tend toward a specific age level.

Fairy tale anthologies we like; Yummy is especially good for the youngest listeners
Fairy tale anthologies we like

Yummy by Lucy Cousins is particularly good for older toddlers and preschoolers because of the simple retellings and bright illustrations, but be warned that Cousins doesn’t shy away from the typical fairytale violence. The other three shown here are better for elementary aged children; there are less illustrations and longer retellings. Continue reading