Encouraging Children to Read – It’s Fun!

Encouraging Children to Read

I absolutely love it when kids tell me about things they learned from a book.  They tell me all about reptiles or plants.  Monuments, vacation spots and famous people.  I can see their face light up when they talk about the special things they find fascinating and that interest them.  When teens come up and start telling me what they learned about politics or history, it makes me excited to know they have a mind for learning and for looking deeper into the world beyond them.  It’s amazing how proud kids are to tell you what they know about a certain subject and what they are learning about through reading.  Some kids soak up books naturally.  They have a love of them and could not imagine not reading.

A Love for Reading – It’s Fun!

As a child I remember reading all the time.   I read to my little brother, I read in school and I loved going to the library to read.  I still love to read, especially things that teach me about the world and other cultures.  Learning about others’ experiences and perspectives can make me a better leader and teacher, as well.  I used to earnestly wait for the National Geographic Magazine to come in the mail and would read and re-read the articles I found interesting.  I loved to read about the ancient mythologies and “Voyages of Sinbad”.  The adventure and the excitement of something new and unknown in each page kept me reading, page after page.  I enjoyed mystery and read all of the “Nancy Drew” & “The Hardy Boys” series.  I volunteered as a librarian in school so I could get extra reading in and have first dibs on the new books coming in.

Strategies for Encouraging Children in Reading

So, that’s all fine and good for you, you might say; what about my kid who won’t sit still for 5 minutes?  You are in luck!  There are many strategies and ways to help your child begin to read and build a habit of reading that will help them in school and to be more successful in their future.  Also, choose topics to read together so you can learn about issues your child is facing such as bully prevention, sports, getting along with others and problem solving.  There are many great books on all of these topics and more, for kids.

Here are 5 Tips:

  1. Break down the reading into little chunks. Some kids just can’t sit still for 20-30 minutes at a time to start.  They need to build up to that. So, have them read for 5 minutes a few times a day.  Slowly increase the time by 1 minute each week or every 2 weeks depending on how receptive they are and how well they are doing.  REWARD! When they complete 20 minutes in a day give them a reward or keep a weeklong sticker chart for a big reward at the end of the week.
  2. You can also break things up into pages. Say, read three pages or ten or twenty. Whatever might be age appropriate.
  3. Have kids read out loud to you. They love showing what they are learning and how they are learning new words.  This will help you too in knowing how their reading is coming along.
  4. Have kids read to younger siblings. This is always great family time spent and good practice for all the kids.
  5. Read to your kids. Or, you read a page and let them read a page.  The quiet time can really become a habit you help set and can also relax them before bedtime.

Here are 5 More Tips:

  1. Offer a reward such as getting to play outside when they finish their reading.
  2. Join a summer reading program. Every library has one and there are lots of online options for programs to follow if a library is out of the way.
  3. Offer to read at the library and bring your kids with you.
  4. Reading doesn’t have to be a GREAT BIG BOOK! Let them read comic books or magazines. Short stories so the size of a book doesn’t seem so impossible.
  5. To encourage even more reading introduce books that come in a series, so the kids really get to learn the characters and look forward to the next book!

“I love reading because it is exciting.  You just don’t know what is going to happen next in the story!”  Child Reader – Daniella (age 8)

Here in Tennessee we have a great program by Dolly Parton to bring literacy to children of all economic backgrounds.  The books are free to children and a great outreach from a wonderful person. Here is the link if you like.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program

Thanks for reading! – Amanda Olson / Master Mom

From the Olson Family

We would first like to say, “Welcome!”  It is our goal to provide the best martial arts training in a safe and encouraging environment.  As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well.  Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond.  The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence.  It has also been proven that when a person earns a black belt they are more confident in every aspect helping with bully prevention at all levels.

What it Takes to become a Martial Arts Black Belt

It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt.  Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important.  It shows you don’t quit, you don’t give up.  That you have what it takes!  Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to: like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want.  We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own.  However, we are not surprised by their success.  We already know they have what it takes to live their dream. 

Character Development & Bully Prevention

Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have.  Our proven character development, bully prevention program and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict.  Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right.  Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities.  People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.

 Let us Partner with You!

Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, helping with bully prevention, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle.  Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying.  We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life as well as, putting a stop to bullying with our proven bully prevention program.

 Sincerely,  Glenn, Amanda, Keith and Katie Olson