ParentClick Santa Barbara

Make time to read at every age


I never joined a woman’s book club but I have been in a mother-daughter book club for the past 10 years… first with my older daughters and now with my youngest. We started when they were in second grade and it is still going strong. I look forward to listening to their animated and very honest discussions each month. And I have to admit that I love the social time with the moms as well. As they have gotten older, their schedules are more challenging but the girls make it a priority to read the books and I think it has become a safe place for them to share and connect while they disconnect from their digital devices.

There is such a sense of accomplishment for a child when they begin to read . It becomes a positive way for kids to escape and academics become easier as they are able to read directions and understand assignments without help from parents or teachers. As parents, there are many ways we can support literacy within our own families. Read for 20 minutes every night with your child and teach them the joy of reading. Often children see it as punishment because it is being assigned as homework. As parents, we can model reading by picking up our own books. It is such a luxury for most parents but also a wonderful way to relax. I recently finished reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and loved the feeling of getting lost in a book.

Motivating your children to read can sometimes be a challenge when you are competing with television, computers, XBox and the Wii however we have found over the years that when we limit “SCREEN TIME” during the week, our kids are happy to pick up a book.

Reading no longer is just about picking up a paper book, kids can read online, there are reading apps, and children’s books available on the iPad, Nook and the Kindle. I have learned though that sometimes the most simple device that only downloads books is the best. There are times, I pick up my iPad to read and quickly get distracted by my email or Pinterest… I found the same happening with my kids when we got the Nook with all the bells and whistles… suddenly they could check Instagram and play games. Next time around, I would get the most basic Nook or Kindle so that I can feel comfortable that they really are reading when they are using them.

There are great resources in your community and online to encourage kids to read.

  • Our local LIBRARIES have so much to offer for families with their weekly preschool story times, their summer reading incentive program, their downloadable audio books and their convenient on line reservation/renewal system.
  • At the Santa Barbara Public Library, they share STAFF PICKS so check it out each week!
  • The SB County Education Office sponsors the BATTLE OF THE BOOKS which is a reading incentive program for grades 4-6 every spring at the elementary schools. I would encourage those of you with kids in the upper grades to encourage your kids to print the list and challenge themselves.
  • Book offers a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they’ve read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes.


March 5, 2015

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