Getting students to read nightly because they want to is a pretty difficult task. We all know you really can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do. Kids are NO exception…not even a little bit. As teachers, it’s our job to find ways to motivate students to read nightly and share those tips with parents. One of the most common tools teachers are using to drive nightly reading is reading logs.
Ten tips for getting students to read…without using reading logs!
I wrote these tips for parents. Feel free to share at the beginning of the school year or anytime throughout. You can also download a PDF version of this list to print.
- Make reading a part of your nightly routine. Bedtime is the perfect time to read. Doing this makes children feel like they are getting to stay up later and it’s a great time to wind down from the day’s events.
- When you can, read as a family. Children love sitting with a parent and sharing this special time. During this time each person reads their own book. This also models good reading habits
- Let your child pick a book that interests them. They will be more likely to read if they are enjoying the book. For example, if your child enjoys Minecraft, try letting them read a Minecraft “How-To” Guide.
- Set up a special reading location in your home that is comfortable. This may include a special chair, blanket or pillow.
- Read a book together. You can read the same book but on your own (if you have two copies), or read the same book at the same time. Taking turns reading is a great way to model and practice good reading.
- Talk about the book your child is reading. Children love to share things they have learned.
- When your child finishes a book, get excited! Tell them how proud you are and talk about the book.
- Go to the library regularly to pick out books. This gets kids excited about reading.
- Reward your child for finishing a book! Not with a sticker or toy!! Reward them by letting them sit with a family member (ex. Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle, cousin) and talk about the book. Maybe let them call a friend up and tell them about the book.
- Make reading a priority in your household. If your child knows reading is important to you and their future, they will learn to value it as well.
A Reading Homework Solution for Teachers
If you are no longer using reading logs for homework and are looking for a way to ensure some quality reading time every night, this homework resource may be just what you are looking for. Students get a professionally written, high-interest passage each week to focus on. Each night they read the passage and answer 4 comprehension questions. Repeated readings help improve fluency and understanding. The questions increase in rigor each night and are text-dependent. You can grab a few FREE weeks to try out in your classroom. Plus, check out my blog post on “How To Make Reading Homework Meaningful“ to learn even more!
If you’d like to read more about why I don’t use reading logs, come on over to Upper Elementary Snapshots where I explain exactly why teachers should retire reading logs!