March is National Reading Awareness Month.
As a mama, who also has a deep love for learning, I knew how important it was to read to my kiddos at an early age. (In fact, the first books I read to my son was the Harry Potter series. He was a newborn and I wanted to get through the series while breast feeding.) It was statistics like these, that scared me into reading to my kids at such a young age.
- More than half the children in the country will not hear a bedtime story tonight.
- Some children begin kindergarten having been read to as few as 25 hours.
- By age four, low-income children have heard an average 32 million fewer words than their peers.
- If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of the first grade, then there is an 88% probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade.
But as my kiddos got older, it became harder and harder to “push” reading when they were clearly not into it. (That whole “push” thing made me write the article, “Please GOD, Help Me Teach My Kids To Read and Enjoy It“.) And as a former pre-teen who hated reading…I knew if it becomes a battle, and lines are drawn in the sand, ain’t nobody going to be a winner. It’s hard to get your kids to love reading in a digital age.
While there are a ton of different ideas to cultivate a child reader, for our family, we landed on having special time with one parent while tackling a book series. The kids loved spending one and one time with the parent and having their own “special” series. Here are some of the book series we’ve enjoyed…
- Husband and Daughter – Wildwood Series
- Husband and Son – Wings of Fire Series
- Me and Daughter – Harry Potter Series
Because we live in a digital world (which is very different to the paper world I was raised in), I’ve had to be more open to the idea of “what reading is” and that it is more than just opening up a book and sitting in a chair quietly. While those days happen every so often (thank goodness for the Diary of Wimpy Kid Series), more likely than not, reading is being done very differently and we’ve had to adjust to things like this…
- If our kids become interested in a topic or have a question, we encourage them research it on the internet.
- We listen to audio books on long trips.
- We encouraged our kids to creating their own stories. For example, my daughter loves creating comic book characters and building a story around them on paper. My son, he likes creating digital characters, and making mini-movies around them on his iPad.
The old playbook on “how to get kids to love to read” from my youth is outdated. I believe it’s possible to embrace the technology they are surrounded with, while encouraging quiet reading time, to encourage a life-long desire to learn and read. But, as most things in parenting, the key is how we present the options to them.
Resources To Help Get Your Kids To Love Reading In A Digital Age
- Rhyming To Reading DVD Curriculum or Classes From Children’s Mercy Hospital
- Goodreads 100 Best Children’s Books
- Kansas City Summer Reading Programs
- Novels for Family Book Club
- Barnes & Nobel Kids Club
What about you? Have any tried-and-true ways to get your kids to love reading in a digital age? Leave them in the comments and let us know.
Disclosure: Children’s Mercy is a partner of RedefinedMom. However, the written remarks and opinions are entirely my own. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.