Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Get your Children Reading and a Great Giveaway

 OK so I know that everyone is in holiday mode! And I know that you are not thinking about next year!  Of course you are! If you are not - let me know how you switch off.  I might not speak about it but my mind is running with ideas for next year.  Excursions, books to read, arts and crafts - the list is endless.

Whether your children go to school, or you home school - a big concern for most parents are Maths and English.  Could be wrong - but I know its almost always the centre of the universe for education.

I love the fact that my children love books.  Mind you, some of them just like to page through books, others read so fast I can't get to the library quickly enough EVER! and some need lots of help.  But they love books!  There have been a few ways that I have helped to encourage my children to read....and read .... and read!

My eldest son has always loved reading - so he was easy.  "You get books, I read".  My middle son was not as keen, he would rather be playing outside than reading, but some of these have really been key strategies for him learning to love reading.  Most of these strategies relate to the difficult readers!

Books  Everywhere
When a child is wondering around the house with nothing to do, they will see the books and pick one off the shelf. Make sure that you arrange them so that the covers catch their attention.  Don't just put them in a pile.  Spread them out on a table in the lounge.  Put one or two on their side tables.

Don't be disappointed if they only page through the book.  When they see something they like or catches their attention, they will want to find out what it says and if they can't read yet, they will ask you to read.
These books are in our dining room.
There are some lovely ideas on how to put up shelves using a gutter which allows you to put books everywhere.   
 You can find a simple tutorial on Raising Olives.  As a mother of 10 she has learnt how to ensure that all her children have lots to read everywhere!

Get a Variety
Get books on topics your children like.  Don't force them to read a specific type of book.  If your son likes fishing then load those shelves with fishing books.  My son loves anything he can make with some cellotape and a stapler. ( Did I mention that he thinks the world is held together by these two pieces of stationary?  If he sees something is broken he brings out the cellotape.  We go through a roll every 2 weeks.)  The point is, I get lots of crafty books.  Also skateboarding, surfing, J-boarding - these would be top of his "Like" list.

Read to them A LOT
Make this part of their daily routine.  I find reading to the children at bed time becomes a wonderful bonding time.  Children of all ages still enjoy this, especially if it's a family moment.  They might read at school or you might do some reading while you are homeschooling but their appetite for reading is huge! Keep feeding that hunger because they will eventually want to read by themselves - the frustration of waiting until the evening to find out what happened will motivate them to read.
If you are too tired, then let your older children do the reading and you listen with the other children.  I have loved those moments of cuddling up next to one of the younger children while the eldest gets a chance to read.
 Dress Up
You don't have to go mad (unless you really want to) but use a piece of clothing or an accessory that sets the scene.  Wear an eye patch when reading about pirates.  Face paint an animal character.  Put on a pretty dress when reading stories of a princess or a tiara.Use your imagination.

Go to the library - and not just for books
Go for books.  Go for the fun holiday programs.  Go for DVDs or the music selection.  The more positive the experience, the more your children will see books in a positive light.  Don't always rush in and rush out but give them a chance to browse and page.

Choose books for them
I let my children choose most of their own books.  I do scan them quickly to see if there is content that I don't think they should be reading.  While they are choosing their books, get some books that you think they might like.  I will often select unusual books or authors that they have never read.  I don't make a big fuss about it, I simply put it on the shelf.  At some point they will get to them. This ensures that they read widely and that you expose them to both fiction and non fiction books.  It also helps children move away from a specific type of book and explore a variety.

Reading is such a vital component of life. I trust that some of these handles will help you encourage your children to become avid readers and love books!

And now for the Giveaway!

I was recently given 3 months access to a wonderful program Reading Eggs to review.  And was I glad to do that!

This reading program is suitable for children from 3 years to 12. The youngest children start in a playroom, and then as they progress they build on what they have learnt.  The older children start on a rotating island which they explore and compete to win various golden eggs.

The whole program is colourful and fun with lots and lots of games (which are all learning activities but FUN ones.)  The children earn golden eggs for completing various games and they can go shopping with it.

My children beg me to use this program daily!  I have never found it so easy to motivate them to read.  In fact in the older section there are over 600 e-books to read with very familiar titles.  They not only have to read the books but they have to answer comprehension and vocabulary questions to earn their golden eggs and there are lots of fun rewards which motivate the children to want to read even more.

Reading Eggs would benefit 
*  reluctant readers
*  beginner readers 
*  children who love reading
* children with special needs

And so after using this program and loving it, I asked them for a prize and we have 2 X 1 year subscriptions valued at AU$79.95 or £39.95 for 2 lucky readers!  ( Each subscription is for one child) So go ahead and enter!

This is How to Enter the Giveaway

Simply leave a comment and tell me what books your children love the most.  Do your children love Roald Dahl?  Do they love comics?  Or do they devour Kids National Geographic magazines?

Anyone can enter our Giveaway AND you can enter even if you have won one of the Giveaways before.  Its open to anyone whether you live across the ocean or next door.
The Winner will be announced on Friday.  

Whether or not you win this giveaway, why not sign up for a free trial of 14 days.  It's just worth every day!


  1. I have two kids that love to read, my oldest will read just about anything in the house. My second would rather read science books or "the way things work" type books. My third does not like to read, but he will read books about Davie Crocket and Daniel Boone and such, I'd love a computer based reading program for him and my next child who is just starting to take off on reading.

  2. My son loves most books but he does ask more often for his science books where he can learn facts and inform all visitors or phone-callers of newly learnt facts

  3. Ah we love books to...also have baskets in nearly all the rooms and a board book basket in the passage which my little one sits next to often. When she eats she gets a 'ook' to - was a 'distraction' we used to get her to sit still for food;-) My son, the busy chap that he is, will sit still for agesss to hear a book. Favourites...mmm....chitty chitty bang bang, robin hood, uncle wigglys, all sonlight read alouds ;-)

  4. my kids love reading/paging any book, from robots, Star wars a firm fav, and then their is Asterix..and actually the list goes on and on...love the idea about the gutters in the room...

  5. Hallo. Thank you for a chance to enter your competition. My children is forever asking me to read to them, and when there's not a book at hand, I have to tell a story... and another one... and another one...And sometimes at bedtime, it can suddenly become very late with all the reading and storytelling. Also because they are different ages and are now not so interested in each others books anymore. (Girl 7 & boy 3) I am currently reading the grown-up version of the Bible for my girl & comparing it to how it is being told in her children's Bibles. For some or other reason she loves it. Both children love the Cat in the Hat books.

  6. My daughter loves funny books full of adventure. At the moment she loves Diary of a Wimpy kid. My son loves Cat in the Hat and all of the Arthur books and Hairy Mclairy. Thanks for all the reading tips, its so helpful!

  7. Hi, we are a home educating family. My son is 12 and my daughter 9yrs old. She loves reading and will read anything that grabs her attention. At this stage she loves anything about horses. My son on the other hand, detests reading for some or other bizarre reason as he grew up with lots of stories and books. He just does the necessary for his English program and reads his Bible for Afrikaans and sometimes he'll page through a book on Star Wars or something similar. I'd love to get him motivated to read some more. One of our favorite activities is family reading. The books we've really enjoyed reading together are Roald Dahl's books-I'm sure we have read most of them!; the whole Narnia series and Frances Hodgen Burnett's A little Princess and The Secret Garden....all but to name a few. A mouthful comment...!

  8. We love books - I can't help myself when I pass the TEARS bookshop in Sunvalley!
    My eldest is into Tintin and has just started on the Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton, he also loves Encyclopedia's. My eldest daughter has just started reading and can't wait to read like her brother, but needs lots of practice. My other two need to learn to read.
    Our favourite thing to do as a family, is for Mom to read the classics in the evenings before bedtime - we are busy reading Alice in Wonderland at the moment.

  9. I had two that loved books and one that couldn't care less. She is the one now that reads and the others don't!! Go figure. The boys are 21 now so maybe they will return to their love of reading.

  10. Wow, what a wondeful prize. A great means to distract a little one into a love for reading whilst completing maths with another! I love all your ideas...thanks! My kids both love Dr Seuss and never tire of reciting whilst I read...great for a laugh after a tough day. Luke, 7, loves books on vikings, romans and knights, ancient armour etc...we currently have about 7!! Zach loves poetry and humour....most of the Sonlight books are a hit so far

  11. I love the idea of putting rain gutters up as book shelves! My children love Dr Suess books and the A-Z Mysteries! That reading program looks like so much fun!!!!

  12. We started reading to our little girl when she was just a little one lying on her back on the floor and she has loved it since the first one. I'm always hoping that she'll keep on loving it as she grows, and I love how you have books available everywhere. We try to do the same thing! So happy to hear ideas from parents who are already homeschooling because we are thinking of going in that direction as well! Her favorites so far have been Karen Katz-many of her books have lots of colors, patterns, flaps, or textures. She is just now starting to engage in the actual story :)

  13. Well done Michelle and Carla for winning the Reading Eggs competition. Michelle please contact me so I can send you the details.


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