How to Motivate Your Kids to Read Without Prizes

a boy sits on floor in front of a bookshelf

How to Motivate Your Kids to Read Without PrizesParents have been trying to bribe their kids to read more often for ages. Reading is often seen as a sign of intelligence, but more so, reading expands our horizons. In addition, we are told as parents that our kids should be reading a certain amount every day. And so the pressure is on to entice our kids to read or force them to read.

But we don’t merely want our kids to read, we want them to love reading. We want them to love reading like we love reading. So how do we share our passion for reading with them?

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How to Build Empathy by Reading to Your Kids

a mom and daughter sit on the floor by books

We read together as a family every night. Sometimes we get so caught up in making it through the book that we never pause to discuss what we're reading. I recently ran across this article about how adding 30 seconds to your bedtime reading can foster empathy, and I had to try it.

The next night while reading, the main character of our story had just secured his family in a cellar vault, and he was turning around for one last great stand against the impending enemies. I paused and looked up to see how long it would take my doodling listeners to realize that I wasn't continuing.

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Do I Really Have to Read That? Questions About the BookShark Program

a girl wearing hat and glasses reads a hardback book

As homeschooling parents, our time is at a premium. Many of us are homeschooling several kids. In addition, we need to cook meals, grocery shop, clean the house, take kids to activities, and perhaps also work a part-time job.

Life is busy.

To carve out more time in their schedule, parents frequently ask these two questions about BookShark curriculum.

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Build a Constellation Reading Fort: Make Reading an Adventure

a girl lays on her back inside a reading fort; two girls look at books inside a reading fort

There’s no getting around it, reading is a skill we all need to in order to be active, knowledgeable, and educated citizens of the world. We can try any number of strategies for teaching reading, but none of those beats curling up with our children and reading, reading, and reading—showing them firsthand how enjoyable it can be to read a book.

Read to them when they are babies and can’t understand a word you are saying. Read with them as they grow up. Continue to read with them and in their presence throughout their entire lives.

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7 Tips for Handling New Vocabulary During Read-Alouds

vocabulary flashcards

Reading books to our children isn’t merely an ideal way to cement family relationships or enjoy a pleasant afternoon. It’s an excellent method to introduce new vocabulary words to our children and help them master those words.

Here are 7 easy tips for teaching and reviewing new vocabulary learned during read-alouds with your children. Pick and choose from these different options. You don't want to use every tip for every single new word.

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5 Ideas for Better Read-Aloud Times

5 Ideas for Better Read-Aloud Times

When our kids groan and complain about reading time, we know we’ve hit a rough patch that needs to be addressed. It’s important to keep kids excited about family read alouds. If your read-aloud times have hit a rut or become dull, here are a few ideas to keep read-aloud times upbeat.

Build Their Interest

Use anticipation to pique interest for reading time. Drop clues around the house pertaining to the story you plan to read. Then have a scavenger hunt to find the answer. When it’s time for the big reveal, the kids will be ready to settle down and listen.

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5 Creative Ways to Rocket Launch Early Literacy

5 Creative Ways to Rocket Launch Early Literacy

If you do a quick search for early literacy, you’ll find study after study confirming the link between early literacy and future academic success.

Educational organizations and schools have taken this to heart, encouraging direct literacy education at home and providing it in schools. But as homeschool families, we know that play, not targeted instruction, matters most in a young child’s social, emotional, and academic development. The skills so integral to early literacy—observation, critical thinking, questioning, and evaluation—don’t need to be taught through flash cards or lessons.

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Creating a Family Culture of Reading

Our house is full of books, and, of course, being a homeschool family has only added to our collection. I’ve always loved books, and I am a voracious reader. My husband is a book lover as well, so it was natural for our love of the written word to overflow to our children. Although our interest in books came easily, here are five ways that we fostered a family book culture. Replicate these in your home to create a haven for books and reading.

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Why Reading Aloud Is the Key for Kids Who Hate Reading

an adult reads to two girls

To say my son is not a big fan of reading may be an understatement. How frustrating! Didn’t he know I had big plans for the type of reader he would be? You know, the read-by-age-four-voracious-can’t put-the-book-down type of reader.

I’m a reading teacher after all! Couldn’t I just mold him into the type of read I wanted him to be? Ha! I couldn’t convince him to enjoy reading anymore than I could convince him that peas were his favorite food.

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Help! My Child Doesn’t Like to Read

When I started homeschooling many years ago, one of my main goals was to raise readers. As an avid reader myself, I’ve always understood the value of reading. It expands our vocabulary, teaches us, ignites our imagination, challenges us, transports us to amazing worlds, and so much more.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to teach my girls everything, but if they could read well and enjoyed the process, they would be able to learn anything they wanted to. So I did whatever I could to make reading exciting and accessible. Here are ways to nudge your child toward becoming a lifelong reader.

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