I have written before about learn-to-read apps and other kid-focused goodies. But getting a kid ready to read actual, text-based stories is a more involved process than we sometimes realize. One of my little loved ones recently came home with a booklet he made at school which was all about the letter A, for instance. We asked him if there were going to be some other books too, and he confidently replied that there were not. They cut the pages, they stapled them, it went into the special folder, and that was it. DONE! Poor little guy has no idea what he is in for!
My Book Riot feed had another take on the kid-friendly book market. Annika Baranti Klein writes about her child’s love of comic books. He was a late reader. She feels he still needs the picture help. She is happy to let him read as much as he chooses. He’ll get to harder books later, or he won’t. But at least he’s made a start.
Personally, I do not believe in restricting the genres children read. I’d like to think the Beloved and I are the kind of family who would never say no when a child asks us to provide a book for them. Reading is reading, at these early stages. I am happy for them to practice their skills on whatever material they wish, and to develop a love and interest in books.
So, when do the e-books come in? Earlier than you might think; I have several students who are not the best readers ever, but love technology. I can see the carrot of getting their own device being a good incentive for a child like that. I would happily buy a cheap tablet—for both books and other purposes—for even a very young kid. But as they get older, I would have to set some limits on the non-book activities they do. You want to spend an hour buried under blankets reading a Kindle book? Fine. But I reserve the right to limit your YouTube and gaming time!
One strategy that I have recommended to several parents is a family read-together time. I had a student who was a good reader, but an easily distracted one and needed to build up her stamina for longer books. I told her mom to get out a book herself, then set a timer. For twenty minutes, they both could read together. E-book or paper, it doesn’t matter. Just model the habit of enjoying a book!
Image credit: Here.