If your child is enrolled in Forest of Reading® at the library, we’re about half way through. While voting might be two months away, there are plenty of things you can do to keep the interest up until the big night. But first, a few things about the program:
At our library, we have children from more than seven schools reading (including home schooled children)…about 45 solid readers in total. One reader has already finished all 10 books in the Silver Birch™ Non-Fiction level, and we have about 6 readers who are more than halfway through their totals, with many more well on their way. It takes a long time to read some of the thicker fiction, so this is a great start.
If you child is taking part in the Blue Spruce™ category, remember, they have to read all 10 picture books. These seem to go the fastest, so keep track of the ones they like on their brochure that we handed out when they registered. Picture books are also a fantastic way to have conversation with your children. Each one is picked because it has a wonderful story or theme, and all of them could be great breakfast discussion topics. Asking your reader to tell you about a book they read the night before is a great way to work on comprehension, and promote literacy skills. But more importantly, it shows your child that you’re interested in books and stories, and hopefully this will create a lifelong reader.
For the older set, while parents aren’t as involved in the books or the reading, there are still plenty of opportunities for discussion. Kids like to talk about what they’re reading, and questions to help them discover more from their books are a great tool to engage reluctant readers as well. Things like:
- Did you like this book? If not, why did you stop reading? Was it the subject matter, or did the book not catch your interest soon enough?
- What was the last book you loved? (This can tell you a lot about your reader. If they mention one they are reading in class, often it’s because someone is reading out loud. That’s a GREAT way to engage readers who aren’t strong, but it also models great reading practice. If they talk about a comic book or something else that involves a lot of pictures, you might suggest graphic novels. And if they mention they really liked that book about Minecraft, or Lego, or horses….then you might just have a non-fiction reader on your hands. Don’t discourage them from reading non-fiction….it’s still reading!)
- Are you too tired to read at night? If yes, maybe your child needs some “designated” reading time before dinner, or a few minutes before they catch the bus. Sometimes, all they need is a different reading schedule to get excited.
- Talk to them about things YOU read…..even if it’s from the newspaper or a magazine. Read things your kids would engaging, and then show them the article while talking about it. Sometimes all they need is a spark of interest. And when you read, your children see this and think reading is a good thing.
If your young reader wants to take part in the program this year, we’re only accepting registrations up until the end of this month to allow everyone time to read all of the books. It will become trickier toward the end when everyone has a few extras to finish up in time for voting night. So, drop by this week, get registered, and get reading. This is going to be a tight race!