Go with what your child enjoys.
I strongly believe that the best way to get kids reading is to give 'em what they like. But maybe you think that their interests – their real interests, what they would spend most of their time doing if they were allowed free reign – are not compatible with reading.
-Show him the Nintendo DS’s PICTOCHAT message function.
-Teach him to type. Let him use Word to type stories and poems.
-The best book ever: Guiness Book of World Records, Gamer’s Edition.
-Magazines for gamers.
-There are lots of websites with educational games. Here’s a good one.
-Subscribe to Sports Illustrated for Kids.
-Active word games for active kids.
-Subscribe to an appropriate celebrity- or TV-oriented magazine.
-Teach your child how to write (a letter, preferably, rather than an e-mail) to her favourite star. She might even get a letter back.
-Show your older kid how to do “research” on her favourite star using Google.
-Check out the biographies at your library. Maybe there’s one on her favourite star.
-Set limits on “screen-time.” Something like no more than two hours a day, computer/video/TV time. Not as a punishment, but as a new kind of lifestyle. TV-time eats up reading time “like a tiger eats a deer” (my son supplied this helpful analogy). Research backs me up on this (and so does your gut instinct).
The Get-Kids-Reading challenge
What is your child's interest? E-mail me. I'm certain I can come up with something that will appeal to him or her. C'mon! Throw your best at me. I can take it!
E-mail me or put your child's activity in a Comment on this site. I'll come up with some stuff that will appeal to your child, and write a post about it. No names will be used.