Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Read Kiddo Read: How to grow a bookworm

Read Kiddo Read. Read Kiddo READ! My mantra was eased the other day when I came home to find Liam immersed in a book.  A new book, selected for him by the smart, book-lovin’ folks at Just the Right Book.  I came home from work and he was completely immersed in Soccer Hour, by Carol Nevius -- a tale about soccer practice and teamwork, illustrated by Bill Thomson with amazing life-like pictures that convey the emotion of the words and the action.

I didn’t even have to ask Liam to read for 20 minutes after dinner, he offered to read his book (for the second time!) out loud to his little sister and triplet little brothers, who together make for a good audience although, at five and three years old respectively, they can’t resist constant, incessant questioning the likes of which I sometimes find irritating and after the other night, am pretty sure Liam does too!

In any case, the point is that without my urging, nagging and demanding, Liam actually had his nose in a book.  And was sharing the story with his siblings. Again, unasked.  Now, I’m not suggesting that one Monday night of bookish bliss is going to become an overnight habit but, it sure is a step in the right direction and it’s one that was strongly assisted by the good folks at ReadKiddoRead.  Liam and I are both looking forward to the arrival of the next book and, I daresay, Ciara, Kevin, Declan and Cormac are too!

I also think I now have some good pointers for how to grow a bookworm...
  1. Provide a constant supply of new books (from the library, school, the bookstore or even Just the Right Book!); recall that you're likely dealing with a youngster with a short attention span so, keeping reading material new and fresh is critical to success.
  2. Read those books.  Read them together. Read them out loud and allow your budding bibliophile to show off his reading savvy in front of siblings; this will not only make him feel great but instill the reading bug in the little ones as well.
  3. Read to your kids, in front of your kids, with your kids.  Kids typically want to emulate the behavior they see in you.  Sadly, this sometimes includes saying things like "freakin", which my five kids have recently adopted into their daily parlance. On the upside, they've often heard me say, "just give me five more minutes, I'm really into this book" -- which hopefully, will be a more positive behavior for them to imitate!
  4. Repeat! Get a new book, read it together, let them see you enjoying a good book. Repeat!
In our house, the development of avid readers is still a work in progress but, I find repetition is the key to success in most things kid-related (potty training triplets being my most recent shining example!) so, read, read, read and I bet your kids will too!

And, if you haven’t already checked out Read Kiddo Read, it’s not too late…

ReadKiddoRead subscriptions are available from ReadKiddoRead for $14.99 per week or month. Once each week (or month) your child will receive a new book chosen specifically for him or her based on reading level and individual interests from the recommended book list at ReadKiddoRead. Enter this code (RKRTSHIRT) when you check out to get your t-shirt and extra goodies and don't forget to get your kids involved and let their voices be heard when they (and you) vote for their favorite books. View the Kiddo Award nominees for this year at and vote for the ones your kids just can’t put down!


caitydad said...

I am impressed that you are not only still sane - how many 'cubs'?! - but that you are focused on reading having a presence for you and them. I discovered your site via Just The Right Book. Best wishes for success for you and your 'cubs.'

Tragic Sandwich said...

This is great to know about! Baguette has an entire bookcase of books, "inherited" from friends or given by relatives, so we've got plenty of material at the moment.

Our approach is based on what she wants to do at the moment. For several months, she refused to let us read to her; she'd turn the pages in the books and "narrate." Now she wants us to read to her--but sometimes we go through the entire book, sometimes we flip through to the pages of her choice, and sometimes we ignore the narrative and talk about what she sees in the illustrations.

I figure that if we let her enjoy books on her terms, she'll enjoy books.

(The secret I got from my mom was to read in front of children--she saw it as modeling the behavior she wanted my brother and me to adopt--and we remain avid readers to this day.)