New Year Reading Challenge
This New Year’s season, encourage your child to make a resolution to tackle more challenging reading goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she needs to tackle “Moby Dick” any time soon, but there are a variety of ways that your child can expand upon his or her reading arsenal and keep challenging learning experiences a part of everyday life through the wonderful world of literature. This goes for both the bookworm and the book-adverse. All children can develop stronger reading comprehension skills to nurture their true potential.
Keeping Up With Current Events
News sources such as your local paper, magazines or online news channels can provide children with valuable reading retention skills while simultaneously informing and teaching them about the diverse world they live in. Time magazine offers “Time For Kids,” a news source dedicated to children that serves up information about current events from around the world. “News Bites” by National Geographic is a nicely crafted blog that allows your child to get involved in the discussion about relevant topics by posting his or her own stories or commenting on existing posts — swing by and check it out.
You will notice your child taking more of an interest in certain topics as he or she absorbs more news. Encourage your child to read more about topics that interest him or her by using the Internet and going to the library. Whether it’s an article online or a book your child checks out of the library, the additional reading will soon have your child well informed about a topic he or she might not normally be exposed to in the classroom. Show what an expert your child is in front of the whole family. At dinner, share your child’s new knowledge with friends or family and ask him or her to teach the family about what he or she has learned during their reading. Don’t forget to highlight how proud you are of your child’s extra efforts.
Wonderful World of Fiction
Perhaps no other medium can engross and inspire a reader like a book of fiction. Whether your child loves fantasy, science fiction, comedy or drama, fiction can carry your child off to distant places full of adventure and astonishing characters. If you know what genre your child loves to read, surprise him or her with a new book. Go to the local bookstore or library and speak with someone about your child’s reading level. Mention the books your child has already read and ask the clerk or librarian for a recommendation that will be both enjoyable and a little more challenging than previous books. It’s good to give your young one a little push from time to time. As your child completes chapters, congratulate him or her by saying, “I am so proud of how well you are reading, and I am so impressed by how much you are improving!”
Special Interest Reading
These days, there is a magazine for practically any special interest you can think of and probably some that you can’t think of. There are magazines about boating, skateboarding, knitting, gardening, hiking, music and so much more. Every child has an activity he or she loves. Whatever the activity, there is likely a magazine dedicated to its enthusiasts. Pick one out and offer it to your child as an alternative activity for the weekend. Chances are the magazine is written at a higher reading level, and even if it requires you to read alongside your child, the benefits will outweigh the extra time you will spend with him or her.
Also, recognizing that the New Year’s resolution is an added challenge, don’t be afraid to incentivize this goal. Along with your child’s resolution to take on more challenging reading this year, try using a magazine subscription about his or her favorite pastime as an incentive for your child’s reading goal. Following the holidays, many magazines run annual specials, so it is a good time to invest in a monthly subscription. Doing this will encourage your child each month and excite him or her by providing an entire year of new things to read about their favorite things.
Start the new year out with resolve and the commitment to help grow your child’s reading skills. This will inspire and encourage your child to take on new reading challenges and teach him or her the joy that comes with learning new things. Good reading skills are fundamental to your child’s success – in and out of school. Don’t just make this a New Year’s resolution, but an annual tradition.