Have you ever been riding through the wastelands on a suicidal train?
Have you ever been drinking the waters of the sacred well while the Lady of Avalon looks on?
Epic fantasy adventures are all around us you just have to know where to look for them.
These are the types of books I have used to get my kids interested in reading. Fantasy adventures come from a wide variety of subjects. My daughter who is now 10 is having a blast attending her first few years at Hogwarts. While my son 11 is diving deep into the world of the ancient gods with Rick Riordan.
Let the Kids Read!
My daughter, who is in the fifth grade now and did not like reading all that much, who did at that age? had finally found a series of books she wanted to read. Meaning that she would come home on her own and begin reading. Now phones, tablets, or computers just reading. When her teacher found out what books she was reading the teacher made my daughter go to the library and choose another book that was her age.
That is the moment I got introduced to the Lexile levels of assigning books to age groups. Needless to say, I would rather my fifth grader be reading a fourth-grade book and have a passion for reading then to force a book upon her and her not want to read it.
Being the diligent father that I am it was time to improvise. I would not stand by and allow the teacher to destroy my child’s will to read. I went to the Lexile website and started doing the research for myself. I dug through their levels until I found a series of books that were on my daughter’s reading level and that she would love to read.
FIND WHAT THEY WANT TO READ!
Finding what they want to read is the key to keeping them reading. Pick a subject that they love or a time period that they like and find books for their age range there. Truth be told I do not worry too much about their reading levels when they are freely reading at home.
If you are lucky enough to have two or more children that are interested in the same subject you can use that as a competition. First, one to finish has to clean the other bedroom. Please encourage them to do better but, make sure it is all in fun. The last thing we want as stay at home dads is to have our kids fighting.
TIE EVERYTHING TOGETHER!
I went a step further than finding a subject for my children to read I always make sure they have reading material on their phones. Pick a format you like and stick with that. The three of us have the same app on our phones that will read epub, mobi, pdf, and most other popular eBook formats. That gives me the flexibility to buy the books from any store that I choose and my children still be able to read them.
Pocketbook is the app that my children and I use. It is a smoothly functioning app and has another good quality. It will also play music files. Nice thing to learn from your children too is another use for an app that you want them to be on. Score! Pocketbook is available from the apple and googles play stores for free. Score!
SET A TIME AND STICK TO IT!
This is often the hardest part of all. Sticking to reading time. Every child will be different. As a stay at home dad, I had to find a time that my children did best at their reading. My children do better when they have reading time as soon as they get home from school. Sometimes this is more difficult if you have plans right after school but, this is where having an app on their phone can solve this problem for you.
No matter what time you and your children choose, stick to it. Maybe it is right before lights out so they get time to wind down. It doesn’t matter what time it is, just stick to it. The more they get to help or choose the better they react to it. I picked a couple of times that they seemed to like reading at and allowed them to choose from the two of them. Win, win in my book. They get to read at the time they want to and I am directing them toward a time that they function better at.
In the end, kids normally react better when they have a portion of the choice in front of them. There are times in all of our lives that we have to make that choice for them. That is just part of our jobs as parents. Getting our children into reading is one of the most important things that you could ever do. I always make it a point to read whatever my children are reading. That way while we are riding in the car we will sit there and talk about our books. Engaging them about what they are reading is motivation for them. As their parents, taking an interest in what they are doing is always a huge score!