“Mom, I don’t have anything to read!”

“Mom, I don’t have anything to read!”

Sometimes when I hear those words, I can hand my child the perfect book to drown out the whine. Other times, its met with, “I don’t want to read anything I have!” and I have to just walk away.

Now besides trying to rack your own brain to find the perfect book for your child, there are many different avenues to help get your child out of a “I don’t have anything to read!” rut. They include taking them to the library to ask a librarian, the bookstore to ask an employee there for suggestions, or if school’s in session, having your child ask their teacher for some ideas. However, I recently found a solution that turned the responsibility completely to my daughter.

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This book, which I got from a Scholastic book order, has been a godsend for my daughter (and by default, for me). We love the way this book is organized and the suggested titles in the book. Here’s the Table of Contents and the Index in the back:

Things we love: the Table of Contents is organized by age. This makes it easy for my child to focus on certain titles now, as well as what kinds of books to look forward to as she gets older. In the back, the titles are organized by genre, so if she decides she wants to read a book about families, she can find titles there.

Additionally, when it comes to the individual titles, there’s more than just the title on the page, and here are some examples:

There’s a summary of the book (with no spoilers!), suggestions of what to read next, a rating scale to fill in, and a spot to write comments. I love this, because it will be a keepsake to look at many years from now. For example, for The Story of Ferdinand, my daughter wrote, “This book is going to be a movie in 2018 or 2017”. I think this will be great to read and remember in the future, even if we no longer have the actual Ferdinand book.

At any rate, as you can see from the pictures, my daughter has been using this book to decide what to read, and to keep track of books we’ve already read. She’s even taken it to the library a couple of times to help her check out books. So if in your #RaisingReaders quest you are tired of hearing, “I don’t have anything to read”, I would strongly recommend this book for your child (and your sanity).

Summer’s coming–let’s set some goals! (Tip #1)

Summer’s coming–let’s set some goals! (Tip #1)

So, its that time of year! School is about to be out (if it isn’t already) and summer is upon is. That means time for BBQs, vacations, sleeping in, and if we’re not careful, the Summer Slide.

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This is NOT a slide you want your kids on…

Summer Slide is that little thing that happens if your child doesn’t do any learning over the summer. I know, I know, no learning, how does that even happen? One would imagine that it would be difficult to do, but trust me, its possible.  At any rate, summer is definitely time to make reading fun, and one of the ways to do this is to set some goals!

If your children are even slightly competitive, like my children are, then setting a goal with them may be a shortcut way to get them motivated to read during the summer.  As I’ve mentioned before, my daughter and I are reading the Whatever After series, a hilarious series of fractured fairy tales. We just started reading book 5, and there’s 10 in the series. Now we do really enjoy the books, but we’ve been pretty lax in reading them back to back, as I mentioned before. So, as we were enjoying the end of book 4, I said to her,

“Hey, how about we try to finish the series this summer?”

“Yeah, that’s a great idea!” she replied. And then she began plotting how we would get them all in before summer was over.  Now, do I really want to finish this series? Definitely. Do I think we can actually read all 5 books before school starts in August? Ehhh.  But the point is, it motivated my daughter to keep books on the brain over this long summer. It helps that she’s like an elephant and doesn’t forget anything, so I’m sure if I start to slack at all, she’ll remember our plan and get us back on track.

I haven’t come up with a goal with my son yet, and I need to get on it because we are still developing his love of books and reading, so he has a greater chance of getting on the dreaded slide.  I’m thinking that since he’s really into these leveled National Geographic Kids books, we might set a goal of him being able to read some Level 2 books himself by the end of the summer. The books have wonderful photos and illustrations, so he spends a lot of time analyzing and admiring those, which is fine, that’s what they’re there for, but I would like him to read a tad bit more.

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My son loves these books, they go from “Pre-reader” to level 3

The #RaisingReaders suggestion here is this: try to set some sort of reading goal with your children this summer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific number of minutes or number of books. It could be a goal to try something new, like starting chapter books, or starting a new series. Your goal could even be a parent/child goal, like increasing the amount of time you read together.  Whatever it may be, the intent is to make sure that the Summer Slide is one that your child does not go down.

I’ve got more ideas and suggestions for how to keep #RaisingReaders over the summer, so remember to tune back in or follow this blog to get regular updates.