12 Dec 2023

Relax and Read for Fun this Winter Break

Are you taking a family trip this winter break? What a great time to listen to a recorded book in the car or plop down on the couch to read! Read a book of choice, maybe something silly, something funny, or a graphic novel.

Did you know that reading for pleasure is one of the biggest predictors of success in school? Here are some of its benefits:

  • Reading is relaxing and fun.
  • Readers effortlessly improve their vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension.
  • Reading stimulates imagination.
  • Reading expands the mind by teaching about different cultures, different walks of life, different personality types, and useful information.
  • Reading for pleasure consistently improves test scores.
  • Reading on a regular basis improves writing and grammar.
  • Practice is the only way to become an excellent reader.

How to find compelling books:

  • Read more books by a favorite author.
  • Read series books.
  • Get recommendations from friends.
  • Choose books based on your interests.
  • If the book turns out to not hold your interest, stop reading it and try another.
  • Search online. For current books, check out The Best Children’s Books of 2023, published by The New York Times.

Set up a Family Reading Time

You may have heard that the best way to get your kids to do something is to model the desired behavior. Parents who want to encourage their children to read books can read along with them. This can mean:

  • Reading to them
  • Taking turns reading pages
  • Setting up a time of day or week when all members in the family read their own books at the same time in the same room.
  • Read the same book as your child and discuss it.

When my children were in school, I read the same books that they were reading for school. Not only did this encourage them and enable us to discuss the books, but I finally got through reading 1984 and enjoyed the whole series of Anne of Green Gables! We piggy-backed on that series many years later by watching Anne with an E on TV as a family.

Some students claim they are too busy to read for pleasure during the school year; but many of us have two or more weeks off for winter break. What a great time to become absorbed in a novel, biography, or sports book! Many of us will be traveling during the holidays. Bring books or e-readers with you and listen to recorded books as a family. Make a New Year’s Resolution to prioritize reading in your family.

For more tips on encouraging your children to read for pleasure, see my article How can I get my Child to Read for Pleasure? which was published in Attention Magazine.

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