To Read Or Not To Read, That Is The Question


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So the title is a bit misleading, I’m not considering taking reading off the list of things to do with my kids, but there are plenty of dilemmas involved with something that seems like it should be easy.

Do your kids read because they like to do it or do they read only when they are required to?

In my home, it’s been a mix of both things for as long as I can remember, but usually reading takes a back seat to just about every other activity. I grew up the same way. If I loved a book I couldn’t put it down, but when reading was required I had a hard time making it a priority.

Now that school is back in full swing, reading has been a regular topic of discussion in my home. In part because during the summer, we as parents got totally lazy. Instead of implementing a summer reading program for our kids, we let other stuff get in the way, some of it good, some of it unnecessary, and the books were left on the shelf to collect dust.

As a result, my 9 year old returned to school this year and was way behind when it came to his reading skills. Last year he tested above several of his classmates for reading, but now he is behind quite a few of the others.

So what did I learn? Well the obvious is that going from nightly reading to nothing for months is a bad idea at this stage of his development. I can stop reading for a long time and not have any negatives when I pick a book back up again, but it just doesn’t work that way with kids.

My other kids are different, one hates reading and it’s a gigantic issue getting him to actually sit down and read for 10 minutes, while my oldest is a great reader but for the most part won’t read unless he has to.

One thing to attempt is to make reading part of your ChoreMonster routine. Here are two great options.

1) Daily reading points: Add daily reading to your weekday chore schedule. Put in the time you want your kids to read and have them complete it just like any other chore.

2) Finish an entire book: This will be better for the older kids, if they complete an entire book and tell you about it to where you are satisfied that they ACTUALLY completed it, and they get a nice points reward.

As always, I’m interested to hear your experiences. Leave a comment and let us know how the reading routine works in your home.


2 thoughts on “To Read Or Not To Read, That Is The Question”

  1. Over the summer we had a deal with our three boys: For every book they read, they earned a $1; the books had to be approved (i.e., making sure there were reading level appropriate and not something they’d already read) and they had to provide a report afterwards. And if they read a total of 10 books over the summer (about 1 per week), they would get a bonus and receive $20. Payment was made at the end of summer. The youngest (6 YO) only had to give an oral report (or read the book to a parent), the middle child ( going into 5th grade) had to provide a paragraph about the book, and the oldest (going into 8th grade) had to write several paragraphs (a small essay) which had to include his opinions on the book. And the written reports had to have correct spelling and grammar. You see how we also worked in a bit of writing practice as well?

    All three boys received $20 each at the end of summer. It was well worth the cost!

  2. Our kids love books. We got the advice when they were babes still, to read to them often. We still read to them out loud. There is no pressure for them to read; they don’t attend school. The older two started reading all on their own and the younger two loves pageing through books or magazines looking at pictures/ photos. We had stacks lying aound the house. Old National Geographics, nature mags for children and other. Next holiday get a good chapter book from your childhood and read a couple of chapters every evening.

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