Before I had kids, I was a parenting expert. I knew how to get babies to sleep, how to keep kids quiet at a restaurant, and how to make all kids love books. Then I became a parent and discovered that children are individuals who have these funny things called minds of their own. I got two wonderfully funny, brilliant, and incredibly stubborn children who challenge me when I least expect it.
One thing I do not want to turn into a fight is reading. I do not want to make it a chore — we have enough of those in our house that don't get done without a struggle. I want to keep reading fun. These little notes aren't just to reward with things — they give parents a chance to encourage their readers even if they are not in the room, or school bus, or at school. They are like lunch box notes in a book.
You will need some post it notes (I love these heart-shaped ones), a pen, and a book or two.
Take your child's book that he or she is reading, and divide it up into reading sections. It could be by chapter sections, a handful of pages, or even a few paragraphs each. This will depend on your child's reading abilities and how far you want to challenge her.
Here are some ideas for the notes. Use the encouraging words that your child will respond to and rewards that fit your child's personality and your parenting comfort zone.
"You are a reading superstar!"
"Did you read all this by yourself? Amazing!"
"You just earned a later bedtime!"
"You are one smart cookie!"
"Readers are leaders! "
"Did you like this book? Let's talk about it over hot chocolate!"
"Books are cool!"
"Trade this note in for a treat!"
"Let's go for a walk and chat about this book."
"Reading rocks, and so do you!"
"You did it! I knew you would. Trade in this book for a trip to the bookstore where you can choose a brand new book!"
Do you have any fresh ways to make reading fun for your independent readers? Tell us about it on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page!