Last week (which clocked in as Week 2) of first grade, we got an extra sheet in her Communications Folder, the see-through, velcroed, holder that ferries information and assignments to and from school. It was a Reading Log. To track her nightly reading, where she inputs the title and author of what she's reading each night for a certain length of time.
I love reading logs. I remember doing a tracking system of sorts in school. I think we had some weird lamenated mini-book that worked its way up some chart in the classroom. But, sometimes, getting kiddos to read can be a bit of a struggle. They may be tired, maybe they just haven't caught the reading bug yet, who knows. There's a fine line between pushing your kids to read and encouraging them to read. Luckily, there are quite few cool ways to make them want to read on their own.
-- Give them their own magazine. If your kid is not into books, have them read magazines. With so many awesome kids' magazine out there these days, having a few come each month just for him can be that happy jolt that will get him to read.
-- Create a theme month. Tap into the power of his interests. Maybe November is dinosaur month, December can be space month. Head to the library and stock up on books for that certain topic.
-- Start a book club. This is especially great for when your kiddo is just getting into chapter books. Who else could be in it? Maybe his buds or his cousin or even an interested Grandpa...and you, of course. Chatting about a book everyone has in common will keep him pumped to keep going with it.
-- Develop a Reading Reward chart. For every minute of reading time, he gets a reward, but make it an experience reward rather than treats or money. Some good ideas: for 300 reading minutes, he gets to pick dinner; 1,000 reading minutes, he gets a campout with Dad in the backyard; 200 minutes, he gets to pick the tunes on the way to school for two days. You get the idea!
-- Play Reading Bingo. Set up a large Bingo card but instead of numbers, you insert reading ideas and challenges, like "Read three poems" or "Read a Story and tell Mom and Dad about each character." I love this one over at TwoCanDoIt.com.
Once your kiddo makes a line, across or diagonal, they get a reward -- again, shoot for an experience rather than a thing, like he gets to pick the movie for movie night or a special afternoon doing puzzles with Mom.
Do your kids like to read? Do they have reading logs for school? How do you encourage them to get into a book?