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Four Ways to Promote Reading

by Lori Sciame | October 3rd, 2012 | Tweens
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Now that you have a tween who can’t be enticed by Clifford the Big Red Dog or Martha Speaks books, you have to be more creative in your mission to raise a reader. It may be more difficult to convince your child to spend time reading when he or she has so many other things vying for his or attention, but don’t give up. Always remember, a child who reads regularly will increase her vocabulary so that she can more accurately express herself. Check out the following tips to encourage reading during the tween years.

A great way to keep your tween reading is to subscribe to print magazines. The price of the subscription should not deter you, as you want your son or daughter to keep reading, and many times a magazine will help the cause. Make sure the magazine arrives in the mailbox addressed to the child and not to you. This makes receiving it more special.

There are literally dozens of special interest magazines that might entice your tween. For example, my daughter loved sports at that age, so I bought her Sports Illustrated. Later, when she turned 16, I added Smithsonian Magazine. No matter what your child loves to do, from cooking to camping, there is a magazine for him.

Another way to make reading fun involves field trips. Take your child to a variety of bookstores. Show him that browsing book titles can be exhilarating, much like a scavenger hunt for the perfect reading material. I have taken my children to major chain bookstores, as well as to local booksellers. Each store has a unique vibe, but each showcases how much fun reading can be.

If you don’t have cash for books, opt for field trips to local libraries instead. They also provide a place to handle dozens of books before choosing, and the service costs nothing! (Provided you don’t incur fines for overdue books of course). Libraries also provide special programming for tweens, including themed presentations.

The next way to promote reading may seem strange, but it works. Give books to your tween as gifts. Your son or daughter may grumble when he or she opens a beautifully wrapped present and finds a book set in the box, but most of the time, those books will be read. One way to guarantee you choose the right book is to explore the most popular authors and titles among that age group. You can find out this information from a librarian or from searching popular booksellers. Barnes & Noble has great recommendations if you don’t know where to begin.

Finally, model behavior that shows you enjoy reading yourself. It’s easy to do. Read the newspaper. Subscribe to several magazines. Act happy to visit the book store and the library – even if you aren’t. Why? Your child learns from you by watching as well as listening. Read all you can, and you will most likely have children who love to read as well.

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