If your young son is finally reading thanks to Harry Potter, keep the momentum going. Robert Gould, creator of Rex: The Ulitmate Picture Book Adventure (Time Soldiers) (Chicken House, 2001) and Rex2 (Sagebrush Educational Resources, 2003) – the first titles in a series of adventure books for boys – has these 10 tips for motivating boys to read:
1. Encourage boys to read aloud. Kids of all ages enjoy reading aloud to their parents and peers. It lets them show off their ability and allows parents to spend quality time with their children.
2. Take field trips to the bookstore or the library. Take time out to browse through a store, and allow boys to pick out their favorite book. Point out books that might be interesting to them.
3. Keep books in the car or tucked in backpacks. Children can read while traveling. In a car, on a bus, sailing on a boat, or flying in a plane, a book makes the perfect companion.
4. Encourage the reading of a series. When kids fall in love with a series, their next book is easy to find. By the time they are through with a series, they are reading better and have begun to form the habit of reading. Challenge them to get through a new series.
5. Connect reading with their favorite activities. Find books that match your son’s interests – riding bikes, skateboarding, secret fort-building. He’ll connect reading to these favorite activities.
6. Location, location, location. Encourage boys to read where they are comfortable. A good book knows no bounds, whether it’s on the porch, up in a treehouse, or under the bed.
7. Books make great gifts. The next time your son is invited to a birthday party, give a gift certificate to the local bookstore.
8. No lights out! Don’t give your son a lights-out time at night. Let him read in bed if he wants to. He’ll feel grown-up, and reading before bed could turn into a lifelong habit.
9. Relax a little. Try not to over-commit your son to too many activities. He may be too tired to sit down and relax with a book. Let him know that lying on the bed reading a book is not a waste of time.
10. Show your son you value reading. Parents should spend time reading. Take out the daily paper or open a geography book while the family is watching TV to learn about and discuss a far-away place.
To learn more about the Time Soldiers series, visit www.timesoldiers.com.