Happy New Year!
As we enter the first month of 2021, we begin to make resolutions for the upcoming year. It’s important as parents to set goals with your kids, and a great goal for elementary students is to read more!
Reading has many benefits for children—it helps them develop their imagination, expand their vocabulary, and gives you more quality time with your child. As you begin building these goals, keep in mind that you want your kids to get excited about reading, not dread it. Grab a piece of paper and write down specific goals that you want to accomplish together.
Here are a few examples of reading goals for your children and how you can set them:
- Select a specific number of books they want to read this year. For example, “I will read __ books this year in 2021.” The more specific the goal, the better it can help keep your child stay on track to meeting that goal. They can also create subgoals of how many books a month they’d like to read and what specific genres they want to read. For example “I will read __ every month in 2021.” or “ I will read __ science fiction and __ fiction books this year/every month.”
- Set aside a certain amount of time to read everyday. Start by setting aside a minimum of 15 minutes everyday for your children to read. The more advanced they are at reading, the more time you should add to their reading time. Also, be sure to take away and turn off any distractions that will interfere with giving them quality reading time.
- Make a book wish list with the specific titles they want to read. Reading is more enjoyable when you are reading books you like. Create an easily accessible book wish list on a book site for your child that they can add books to as they discover them. This is a simple way to keep your child organized and help them feel accomplished as they cross the books off their list.
- Take regular trips to the library or bookstore. Make it part of your schedule to go and pick out new books. Whether it be weekly, biweekly, or on Monday’s right after school, take them to the library or bookstore. This will also give them a timeline of when they need to finish books. Scheduled visits can also help set benchmarks for when they finish a certain amount of books, creating an incentive of the trip to get more books. Your children will feel like they are being rewarded and get excited when they finish their books.
- Build their vocabulary by learning a new word everyday. There are numerous resources that you can use to learn a new word everyday like email subscriptions, mobile apps, websites, and flip books. Additionally, you can follow our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn a new vocabulary word every Wednesday!
- Create a book log. Write down the title, start date, and end date of all the books your child reads. It will help you track how many books they have read, topics they like best, and help show which books they struggled with or might have been too easy for them to read. At the end of the year you can sit down with your child and review the list and build a new reading goal based on your observations!
Reading goals can make reading fun for even the most reluctant and restless children. Start setting and reaching these goals and you’ll soon see your young reader turn in to a lifelong book lover, one who sets reading goals for themselves, or no longer needs a set of goals, but opens a book everyday because it’s just fun!