As the school year chugs along, I always notice one major difference in my kids. Learning becomes a drag. Somewhere along the way, the fun gets left behind in their minds and they lose motivation. Often, they take this attitude into the summer, and we begin the break struggling to keep them reading and learning new things over the break.
So, last year we decided to take a different approach. How can we make learning and reading fun again? How can we get them excited to crack open a book? Or explore a new subject?
Here are three ideas we used, and two more that we’ll try this year. Plus, these don’t just work for kids! Adults can always use extra motivation to get our minds in high gear too. So, try them for everyone in your family!
Find Fun Bookmarks
These cute printable bookmarks to color are the perfect start to a new look on reading. Have kids color them in, and then laminate for extra durability (or print on cardstock). Tell your kids to put one in the next good book they want to read, and you’ve instantly created a more fun experience.
Make a Reading Spot
Do you have a super comfy place in your home just for reading? Perhaps it’s time to make one! Throw blankets in the bathtub or make a permanent window seat where anyone can go to enjoy a good book. By making your home conducive to reading, you’ll be setting the stage for lifelong readers.
Get Into a Program
Especially in the summer, most libraries have a reading program that ends in a prize. At ours, it’s a book that the kids get to pick out at the end of the summer. If yours doesn’t have one, create your own reading challenge or program and let the kids decide what they’d like to do if they hit their reading goals. It will be the perfect end of summer delight to celebrate their accomplishment!
Who says YOU or THEY have to do all the reading?! Why not try a recorded read-a-loud where you listen. You are still getting into the story or gaining unique knowledge, and sometimes this is a wonderful and effortless way to wind down the family at night.
And finally, if you want your kids to become lifelong learners and readers, they should see their parents doing it too. Because here’s the truth: we do what is modeled for us, not what someone tells us to do. I mean, isn’t it really annoying when someone advises you to do something that they would never do themselves?!
So, find books that you love to read and join a challenge yourself. (I love my book a week challenge with a friend). And, take it a step further by talking to your kids about the books you enjoy, or the new information you learned today. They will love sharing ideas and you’ll be creating an environment that benefits them for a lifetime.
Finally, one of the best gifts you could give your kids is a love for learning. So, take the time to make sure they have books and series that really speak to them.
Truly, the one who learns the most in this lifetime wins, because it’s a leverage activity that compounds over time. It’s no surprise that many of the most influential leaders of our time are also veracious readers. Let’s join them and brighten our own horizons as well!
“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”– Napoleon Bonaparte