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How to Make Reading Fun & Promote Reading Independence

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

When my son was a young reader, he had absolutely no interest in reading. To him, reading was something he HAD to do for school and getting him to read was a chore. This caused many tears and an even greater aversion to reading. It didn’t take long for me to realize that if he was ever going to love reading, things needed to change. I started switching up my approach to reading; trying to make reading more fun and exciting. Guess what? It worked and helped form daily reading habits in the process! If you have young readers in your home, these tips and tricks are game changers.

Find Books of Interest

I find that when my children are interested in the content of the books they read, they’re more willing to read. My son loves finding books about his favorite animals, hobbies, characters, etc. Finding the right book really helps with reading comprehension and retention. Plus, it keeps your kids coming back for more.

Switch up Reading Locations

My kids get excited to read when they get to help create a fun reading environment: read in a pillow fort, outside, under your bed, in the bath tub, in your tree house, in a closet with a flashlight, etc.

Special Reading Snacks

Designate special snacks that can only be eaten during reading time. Is there anything better than curling up with a good book and your favorite snack?

Create a Reward System

My children thrive with positive re-enforcement. When my children read, they are able to earn special privileges. At our home, it is a rule that before any of my children have screen time, they need to read for at least 20 minutes. The funny thing is, sometimes they even lose track of time and keep reading for much longer. My kids used to wake up early and immediately turn on the television. Now, they know that if they want screen time, there are other responsibilities they need to complete first. Another fun reward my kids have enjoyed is having a family movie night where we watch movies inspired by books they have completed. Rewards don’t have to cost money – just find something that excites your child.

Creating Reading Accountability & Independence with Reading Starz

Reading is one of the most important skills young children can develop. However, being a parent of young readers requires a lot of patience and time. Despite making reading fun and exciting, it’s always a struggle to teach them to become independent readers. Because I have two young readers in my home, it’s often hard for me to bounce back and forth between my kids during reading time. When I’m not around, I worry that my children get side tracked, skip sentences, or stop reading altogether. Thankfully, I recently discovered the Reading Starz app; it motivates kids to read more without parents having to be physically present.

Reading Starz is SUCH a cool app! It records your child reading physical books and creates detailed reading logs for parents to view. Using speech recognition, Reading Starz tracks children as they read, compares it to the book’s text, and lets parents know their child is reading at grade level speed, their reading accuracy, and word pronunciation. The app tracks how long your child is reading, what books they are reading, and allows them to make goals to earn personal rewards.

My 8-year-old can even use the Reading Starz app on his own. All he has to do is choose his book, press start, and read aloud! Knowing that he is being recorded helps him read independently, keeps him accountable, and makes him feel accomplished when he finishes. I love that later, I can log into the app and track his progress. It helps keep both of us accountable. Reading Starz also send me a daily e-mail with my son’s reading stats. SO COOL!

So here’s how it works:

  1. Download Reading Starz.
  2. Have your child choose a book – as mentioned earlier, the more interested your child is in the subject, the better!
  3. Scan the book’s barcode.
  4. Press play and start reading aloud! Reading Starz will compare your child’s speech to the book’s digital copy.
  5. Your child’s progress is stored in the app that can be accessed by both parent and child at any time.
  6. Parents can then see if the child skipped any passages, had trouble with pronouncing words, track how long they read, etc. This allows parents to better know how to help children achieve reading success.

I can’t even begin to tell you how these simple tips and tricks have changed my children’s views on reading. The other night, I went to check on my kids before going to bed. My heart swelled with pride to find my son curled up with a book under his reading lamp – he couldn’t put his book down! If that isn’t reading success, I don’t know what is! I’d love to hear your reading successes with the Reading Starz app!

What reading activities are you excited to try?

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