The kids are heading back to school. As an educator, I sure do miss this time of year. I love the fresh start that a new school year brings. Now is the time to tweak all the things that didn’t run so smoothly last year.
Today I’m joining with other bloggers to help you make this the best school year ever. I’m going to help you with one area that your family may have struggled with in the past- READING HOMEWORK! Here are my reading homework tips for a stress-free school year.
Most students will have homework nightly beginning in Kindergarten. I’ll save my soapbox on homework for another time! And reading assignments will probably be a huge chunk of that homework.
So, how do you make time for reading homework?
Where should your child read?
How do you help your child with their reading?
How do you keep up with reading logs, reading journals, minutes read, pages read, etc.?
Here are my tips for making reading homework stress-free this year!
READING HOMEWORK TIPS
Making Time for Reading Homework
The bulk of reading homework involves reading and tracking the number of books read or time spent reading. Figure out the time that works best for your family (and that might change depending on the day of the week).
- If your children are bus riders, they could read on their way home.
- If you have a commute to a practice (sports, music, etc.), they could read in the car on the way.
- If you have a children who need a break after school, let them play for so many minutes (until a timer goes off) and then they do their reading.
- Many kids like to read at bedtime too.
Find a Just Right Reading Spot
Think about where you like to read. Is it sitting in a hard chair at a table? Probably not! Help your kids find their “just right reading spot”. It can be a comfy chair, laying on the floor with pillows or under a tree in the backyard. The more comfortable they are reading, the longer they will read. For some very creative reading spots, check out my “Just Right Reading Spots” Pinterest board.
Find Someone or Something to Read To
Many younger children need to read out-loud to someone or something. How can your child do this if you have to work late or make dinner or help other siblings with homework? Here are some ideas!
- Read to a pet.
- Read to a stuffed animal.
- Read to yourself in front of the mirror.
- Read to a sibling.
- Get on Skype or some other video-conferencing and read to a grandparent, aunt, cousin, etc.
Keep Up with Reading Logs
- If your child has to keep track of pages read, I suggest placing a sticky note on the page they start on. When they are done reading, they can then count from the sticky note forward and record that number on the sticky note. The number can then be transferred to the log.
- If your child has to keep track of time read, there are apps that can track time for you. Scholastic has a free reading timer app! It will log the minutes for you and then you can record them on the school log.
- If your child has to keep track of number of books read, have a special basket near their reading spot. As they finish a book, it’s placed in the basket. At the end of the reading time, tally the number of books read.
Also, make sure that log always stays in the homework folder so everyone knows where it is when it’s needed!
Help Your Child be a Confident Reader
- Model, model, model. Little ones love to emulate their parents. Chances are that if you value reading then your little ones will too!
- Stock up on reading material! High interest material plus texts that your child can read independently will equal a longer time spent reading. Need some ideas for creating a library on a budget? Check out building a library on a budget post I wrote.
- When a child gets stuck on a word, resist telling them the word. Instead, encourage her to use strategies (sound it out, think about what makes sense, etc.). I like to hang a poster of strategies up near where the child will be reading. This post is full of helpful language you can use to help your child comprehend what they are reading.
Sail Through Book Reports and Projects
Have you ever had a late night trip to the Dollar Store to get craft sticks for the book diorama that is due the next day?
This summer, stock up on all those crafty materials at the back to school sales. Store the materials in a box or plastic container and you will have resources available for all those book projects throughout the year.
Map out projects when they are assigned. Set goals with your child on a calendar.
For example, day 1: read chapters 1 and 2 or day 5: start the diorama background. Aim for completing the project the day before it is due. This will let you have the last day to tweak any issues. Breaking down the assignment into smaller increments helps kids to balance their time and helps them from feeling overwhelmed by a big project.
I hope these tips will help you have a successful year of reading homework. If you or your child ever feel frustrated with how long or difficult the work is, contact your child’s teacher to discuss the concerns.
What other tips have you found useful for making reading homework stress-free in your house? You will also find more ideas on my Back to School Pinterest board. Also, check out all the wonderful tips for a successful back to school season below from the Kid Blogger Network participants!
P.S. Are you following Growing Book by Book on Facebook? If you haven’t liked us, please do so! We have some great conversations about literacy on the page.