Chances are if you have a reader on your hands, it won’t take much to turn them into a writer. Once they have the right setting and opportunity, they’ll just GO FOR IT. And you won’t be able to stop them.
We talk to you a lot about the writing part. Here are a few suggestions to help you on the reading part. These are things that I (Carrie) do with my upper-grade students, but they will work with any age!
Play the “9-10 or Abandon” rule. This means, on a scale from 1-10, you want your kids to be reading books they rate very high. If after 50 pages in, they aren’t loving it, make it okay to abandon it and try again. BUT–teach them to give it a 50-page chance. The author often needs at least that long to build up the book world! I tell my students they are way too many books in the world to be stuck in ones they don’t love.
Your job is to pay attention to what they like to read and help them to find more of it. “Hire yourself” as their personal book assistant and make good choices readily available. Be on the alert for great resources such as Aimee @keepabookout on Instagram or book award lists at your library.
Play Pizza-Read-A. I made this up as a way to help kids stretch a little bit in their reading choices. This is especially a good experience for serious readers. They’ve conquered so much reading ground already, it’s nice to help them discover new kinds of books to love. I have a list of different genres (types of books such as fantasy, adventure, non-fiction etc.) and challenge kids to read a book from eight different genres a year. When they do, they get a pizza. Is it good to bribe kids with food? Umm. I don’t think too hard about this! It’s just fun and it stretches kids out of their comfort zone. Reading and writing are BFFs.
The more kids do of each, the better off they are. It’s our mission to help you help your kids to become strong writers. Reading plays a big part in that! Write On!