Why I raid my kids’ bookshelves

I’ve spent so much time lately researching reading picks for my kids, stocking their bookshelves with all sorts of award-winning and popular titles, that when it finally comes time to reading myself, I often end up reading one of the books I’ve carefully chosen for…. my boys.

I was almost ashamed to admit how lost I got in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. I bought and read all three in a single week. I’ve since read many more great YA titles, with a To-Read list that is growing daily.

Not only […]

Can kids ever read TOO much?

Guest post by Alissa Sklar. Alissa Sklar is the mother of 3 daughters, a freelance writer for Montreal Families Magazine and other publications, and an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

My three daughters are voracious readers.

Now that might be a strange way to start a blog on a site linked to encouraging reluctant readers, but stick with me here. My older girls, twins in grade 5, are so immersed in their novels (fantasy adventures and historical fiction are their favorites) that they began reading through every recess period at school, neglecting their […]

Get kids reading with an Easter Treasure Hunt!

As a child, Easter was always one of my favorite holidays. We used to spend it with some great family friends in Massachussetts, who happened to have a huge yard on the edge of a forest.

Our parents used to prepare amazing Easter hunts for us, hiding eggs and chocolates all over the place. The fun seemed to last forever!

Living in Montreal, our Easter Sundays are always terribly unpredictable. It can be spring in full-bloom outside, or we might still have snow. Most of the time, it is […]

Limiting screen time – take 2

The system worked. The deal was simple: boys, you want to watch TV, play your video games, borrow my iPhone, fine. But you have to read, too. At *least* an equal amount of time.  That’s how Reading Rewards was born, and it was a very simple system that worked brilliantly.

They wanted to watch TV, so they had to read. We spent time picking and choosing the right books for them. We started ‘family reading time’ in the evening: every night at 8pm, we all got together in the living room to read together. They started reading more, […]

Read to Me – Picture Book Challenge

Bedtime stories in our household have generally been daddy’s domain. The boys are now reading on their own, and more interested in their own silent reading than read-alouds, which leaves us with our youngest, now aged 5. I spoke about my challenges with her English here, so lately I’ve taken a particular, personal interest in storytime, determined to expose her to a steady stream of English-language picture books.

Today, I discovered the Read-To-Me Picture Book Challenge, and knew immediately I wanted to take part in it. What a great idea!

Great read alouds by Julia Donaldson

Last week, I did something I really should have done ages ago. I sorted through my sons’ bookshelves, trying to make sense of the picture books, encyclopedias, comic books and novels they have been accumulating since…. well, birth.

Some of the obvious ones had already migrated to my daughter’s room ages ago, but lately I’d been having this nagging feeling while searching through her books for our read aloud sessions that some great ones were missing.

How excited I was to find a couple of real treats from Julia Donaldson, collecting dust on the boys’ bottom bookshelf!

Making reading logs fun!

Many teachers use reading logs in the classroom and as homework assignments to encourage reading and comprehension among their students. But reading logs are often done individually, and cannot easily be shared by fellow students. Kids often complain about them, and they can actually become counter-productive.

Here a few tips on how to make reading logs fun:

  • Use an online reading log program like Reading Rewards. Keep everything centralized, no more lost or forgotten homework!
  • Set daily or weekly reading targets, and reward your students when they reach them. Rewards do not […]

The book remembers

Yesterday was International Children’s Book Day. For over forty years, this day has been celebrated “to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.” Sponsored by The International Board on Books for Young People, this year’s theme is “The Book Remembers.”

“The book remembers the time in which it was written”

One could read history books to learn about life in a different time, but what better than a book to let you know, really let you feel, what life was really like.

My read-aloud secret weapon!

We all know the importance of reading aloud to our kids, well beyond the age when they are able to read on their own. One of the keys to read aloud success? Choosing books that are age appropriate for the kids. But what happens when, like me, you have kids that vary in ages quite significantly? Adding to my personal struggles with reading aloud to my 3 children at once is the fact that my daughter is only just really starting to speak English. Most blogs I read and follow give great suggestions for English read-alouds.

Because many of the […]