Reading is awesome. Yup, I love to read. Every night I read a chapter of my book and I have always been an avid reader since I learned to read at 4 years old. My daughter Diane, has not found the reading bug yet. She will not usually pick up a book on her own. I encourage her to read all the time, often stopping to find new books at the library. I just always wished she was one of those kids who could not wait to read the latest book. A few weeks ago we were invited to join the new Jacky Ha-Ha Mother-Daughter Book Club revolving around a new book by James Patterson. Surprisingly, Diane said, “Mom, let’s join the book club!” I signed up quickly before she changed her mind.
We ordered our copy of Jacky Ha-Ha on Amazon and it arrived two days later. That night, Diane was ready to go to bed quite early, eager to start our book club reading. I will tell you that Jacky Ha-Ha is a really funny book and my daughter and I both loved it. I loved it because it got us talking and cuddling each night before bed. Each night we found a quiet spot, got a soft blanket and each read one side of the book to each other. We stopped as many times as necessary to share some parts of the story. This book brought up many important topics, some we have never discussed before. Some nights the book made Diane remember something that happened at school that was relevant and we got off into a long conversation about another topic. But being in the Jacky Ha-Ha book club has definitely brought the two of us together even more. Please feel free to follow along with the conversation on Twitter by following #hahabookclub.
In my life before children, I was a teacher and I have a lot of experience trying to get kids to enjoy reading more. Today I want to quickly give you some suggestions and tips on how to engage a reluctant reader. Starting your own Mother-Daughter book club is a great place to start!
- Choose the right book. The funnier the book, the more you will laugh and the more your child will look forward to reading with you. Book choice is SO important! Read book reviews before buying a book. Make sure you are carefully choosing the right book.
- Choose a book with lots of great pictures. If your book has fun photos and drawings, your child will be happy to break up the reading with a discussion revolving around a cute picture. A book with just millions of words can feel overwhelming. A few fun photos can make a book more fun to read.
- Make reading time a special reward. Have a special chair, a new blanket, maybe even some matching pajamas. Make reading a time to look forward to, not something to dread.
- Read consistently. Try to find time to read at the same time each night. Kids need repetition and consistency, this is also true about reading with you. Maybe your child is an early riser. You could read a quick chapter before heading off to school too!
- You read one side and your child will read the other. A reluctant reader is overwhelmed at the idea of reading a WHOLE book. If Mom reads all the left side pages and daughter reads the right side pages, it makes the reading less of a chore and an actually doable activity.
- Keep a diary or make a secret word code. This is really important especially if you have other children. When we use our “code word” for reading time, Diane’s brothers look around and wonder, what the heck are they doing together, what are they talking about? It is so much fun to have this secret club that only the two of us know about. Diane also has a diary or journal that she has been drawing in, taking some time each night to draw what we just read about.
We made a short video about being in the Jacky Ha-Ha Book club here:
This post was sponsored by MomSelect through BSM Media. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
I would love for you to leave me a comment. What books have you enjoyed reading with your child? Any other tips you can share to help reluctant readers enjoy reading a bit more?