Thursday, July 28, 2016

5 Tips To Turn A Reluctant Reader Into An Avid Reader

My youngest Emma use to be a reluctant reader, until I discovered some tricks that have made reading more enjoyable to her.

As many of you know, we are avid readers. My husband and I love to read and so did our oldest, Miriam. So, we were concerned when our youngest was more of a reluctant reader. We read to them all the time and they were always surrounded by books. We have so many books in our home, that we do not have a "home" for all of them!

So here is a list of the things I did to help our reluctant reader become an avid reader.

1. Let Them Choose What To Read! This may seem like a no brainer but we often don't let them make the choice. We try to "help" by offering this or that book. Let them browse and find what looks interesting to them.

What got Emma into reading was a comic book series, "Tiny Titans." It looked good to her and she picked it out completely by herself. She devoured these comics and would reread them over and over again! A highlight when she was younger was when she got to meet the creators Art and Franco at Comic Con! She brought every single copy, even the ones without covers and that were falling apart so they could sign them.

2. A Special Book Just For Them One trick I discovered completely by accident. I had picked up some books at a library sale, can't pass up a great deal on books. I usually pick out books with one or the other of the girls in mind but I tend to give them to them all together. Well, that day I happened to show my husband the books first and had told him why I chose each book and who I was thinking would enjoy it. So, he told our girls that mommy had picked out some books special for each of them, so when I got home Emma met me at the door bouncing up and down and asked what books I had gotten special for her. I gave her the books I had picked out thinking of her and she sat down and read them! So, giving them a special book especially for them might help.

3. Fewer Choices Half the time during school I pick out what we will be reading/studying and the other half of them time I will let the girls choose. Well, what I pick isn't always what they are most excited about but when I would let them choose Emma would take forever and she would start whining about not knowing what to pick. Which would lead to me getting frustrated, just pick a book we have a ton! Then one day I chose a few books for her to choose from and asked her to choose from those, which she happily did and sat down to read no whining and no tears. Lesson learned, sometimes too many choices can be way too overwhelming for a beginning reader.

4. Reward Them for Reading I came up with the idea to chart the books we were reading and give them a reward when they reached a certain level. Sometimes it's a toy from the dollar store, a candy bar at the grocery store, picking a craft to do together, picking the movie for movie night, picking dessert, or anything else I come up with. As you can see it's usually inexpensive as well.

Here is what their reading charts looked like when they were younger.

They can fill in the squares by coloring them or with a sticker. Because Mia was a more advanced reader she had to read a few more books than Emma to reach each level.

To solve the problem of having them reading the easiest books to fill up the most spaces faster I came up with a point system. Each book was given a certain number of points determined by me based on difficulty as well as their individual reading levels. Also they are allowed to read the same book again but it loses one point each time it is read, so if a book is worth 3 points the next time it is read it is only worth 2. We did have some books that were so ridiculously easy that they are worth 0 points. They love to see their charts filling up as well as getting their rewards.

Now that they are older we keep a reading log.

5. Read Aloud With Them No matter how old they are reading aloud with them is still a great way to introduce new books and genres. This is a fun way to spend time together as well.

Kind of a spin off to this tip is listening to audio books. We do a lot of driving in the car to classes and such and have discovered audio books for the drive!

Do you have any tips to helping a reluctant reader become an avid reader?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Practicing With PicMonkey

***Disclosure there are affiliate links in this article. By clicking on them I do earn a commission, or you can just go to whatever website you want and I don't earn anything. Totally up to you!***

I have always wanted to have a nice camera but was overwhelmed with the choices and pricing. We actually received a super nice camera as a gift for my hubby putting in over 15 years at his job. I love it! So I have been practicing with it, doing some free courses on how to use it, etc.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win I just started dabbling in picmonkey. I used older pics and started dabbling with making collages. And then started working on making pics for Christmas gifts. And now have started putting quotes on them. I want to use my own pics with quotes I like!

Here's a couple I made yesterday. I think they're adorable!