As a reading teacher of disengaged and disgruntled high schoolers, I quickly learned what was missing. Choice and awareness of great books is key.
As adults, many of us read for pleasure and that is exactly what it ispleasurable. We often can't wait to crawl into bed at the end of a long day, grab our book on our bedside table and lose ourselves in the story or new found knowledge. How did we get to this point? Well it wasn't through forced reading of certain books and reports or quizzes. By taking your child to the library or bookstore and setting as few parameters as you feel comfortable, you are taking the first step.
However, many kids don't know how to find a book or author they will enjoy. Asking a librarian or a best friend may work, but it may also cause more frustration.
How to Find the Right Book
1. Have your child make a list of things he or she likes.
2. Go online together and search for age appropriate books on those subjects.
3. Read reviews together about those books.
*Remember just because a book gets good reviews doesn't mean it will turn out to be right for your child.
4. Call or search the library database ahead of time to make sure the books are available.
5. Let your child get at least three.
Decide on a reading time together(no more than 15 minutes), and let him or her chose the location.
Encourage them to read at least 20 pages before deciding whether or not a book is right for him or her.
Encourage unstructured, child run discussions about the book.
Ask the child if he or she would like to read a "good part" to you or summarize a section.
Ask your child if he or she would like you to read some of the book to them.
Model reading. Spend time reading yourself. Share the highlights of your book. Talk to him or her about your favorite parts, predictions, unexpected twists, and the movie you create in your mind as you read.
-using reading time as a punishment
-putting many parameters on when, how, or what is to be read
-asking a lot of questions or trying to force a book discussion
-interrupting your child during reading time
-getting overly excited, frustrated, or concerned with what your child is reading (follow your moral compass, but know that your favorite book as a kid might not be his or hers)