When she was little she begged for a story every night. When she learned to read on her own she read book after book, eager to use her new ability. Now that she's a tween, however, reading no longer seems as much fun. Sometimes when children begin middle school, reading for fun takes a backseat to homework, required reading, and other activities.
Encouraging your tween to take an interest in reading may not be easy. Don't throw in the towel yet, there are ways to help motivate your tween to read. The suggestions below can help you accomplish just that.
1. Read What's Popular
2. Consider Magazines
There are several magazines that cater to the tween girl market, including Girls Life and Discovery Girls. Both offer a lot of information on dealing with school problems, social problems, and making the most of the tween years. While these magazines also focus on make-up and fashion, they still offer substance to tween readers, and that makes them a worthy option.
3. Start a ClubTween book clubs are popping up at libraries across the country, and even some school districts are sponsoring middle school reading clubs. A book club gives tweens the chance to read a book together and share their observations and comments about the story. If a club isn't offered in your area, consider starting one with your child and her friends.
4. Enlist Their HelpAsk your child if she's willing to read to younger siblings or neighbors in order to help them improve their reading skills. The chance to share a story may be enough to encourage her to keep reading for fun.
Some school districts offer tutoring programs in which older students tutor younger ones. Consider allowing your tween to participate in a middle school reading and tutoring program, if one is offered. It will give your tween the chance to improve her own reading skills while helping a younger student develop theirs.
5. PrioritizeOne of the biggest obstacles with middle school, reading and tweens is time. In middle school, reading and other extra-curricular activities may be pushed out of the way by other responsibilities including homework and babysitting. Tweens are often times over scheduled, and when they do have free time they're more likely to watch television, play on the Wii, or text their friends.
You can still encourage your preteen to read by setting aside an hour every week just for reading. Make television and other distractions off limits during reading time. Make this time fun, by selecting a book the two of you can read together, or simply sit down with your tween and read your own book while he reads his.