2,419 posts categorized "Newsletter" Feed

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 19: #FakeNews, #ReadingChoice, #ReadingAloud + #GraphicNovels

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #AchievementGap, #BookList, #eBooks, #FakeNews, #GraphicNovels, #InformationLiteracy, #introversion, #LearningDifferences, #NoSummerSlide, #ReadingChoice, #SchoolLibrarians, publishing, reading, testing, and writing.

Book Lists

CuriousGardenI decided to only share this @growingbbb #BookList of #PictureBooks About Community if it included our family favorite #TheCuriousGarden by @itspeterbrown https://t.co/Sm26RIMgns. And it does!

Teaching Kids with #LearningDifferences #BookList - @thisreadingmama ow.ly/D2FV30p9jJA | #dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalulia, #ADHD, Autism, processing disorders, etc.

An Unexpected Trend in #PictureBooks @fuseeight | wrestling w/ the idea of how numbers or concepts can be relative + the way your perspective matters ow.ly/8R6730p9jTK #BookList

Fake News + Information Literacy

A Reminder That #FakeNews Is An #InformationLiteracy Problem - Not A Tech Problem ow.ly/tAfZ30p7G8H | People should be researchers + scientists re consuming information + use verification and validation, says Kalev Leetaru @Forbes

Timely advice from @TeachThought | 20 Questions To Help Students Think Critically About News ow.ly/4zDr30p8M9t via @drdouggreen #FakeNews #InformationLiteracy #Schools

Growing Bookworms (inc. Reading Choice)

GiganticBeardUse Comics or #GraphicNovels, Paired w/ Novels, to Teach #ELA + #SEL Skills | ow.ly/nO1J30p8Myu | Also offer #ReadingChoice, says @APLit_Teacher @edutopia

Lots of food for thought in this @HKorbey @edutopia piece about Student #ReadingChoice + #LoveOfReading vs. the Classics + #ReadingSkills ow.ly/mRsD30p7fSg | @jarredamato @thebigseablog @Tellez_Stephani @MsJasmineMN + more

#NoSummerSlide Week 7 @TheReadingTub – Game On! Terry suggests that you consider a family #GameNight or #PuzzleNight, w/ ideas + resource links ow.ly/LWvI30p82Eh

Good research-backed piece on how #parents + #teachers put kids off from #reading by not giving them #ReadingChoice, making them finish books + asking them questions about their #reading | Isang Awah @ConversationUS https://t.co/mGz3S7kHOR

5 Tips for Using #Audiobooks at Bedtime | Janssen Bradshaw @ReadBrightly ow.ly/AzuK30p9RnC | Avoid scary books, don't fear repetition + more

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

HBrucesFunDayappy to see from @tashrow's review that @RyanTHiggins #MotherBruce is successfully moving into #EasyReaders like Bruce’s Big Fun Day ow.ly/Tebd30p8LZb @DisneyBooks

Although I'm not generally a fan of #homework, this I really like: @katsok on her success assigning #Writing Homework (w/ full choice for kids on topics/formats) @ChoiceLiteracy ow.ly/VDos30p76Y9

#Education publisher @pearson to phase out print textbooks, beginning in the US - @BBC ow.ly/m1C130p97bK | This worries me, though I understand some of the drivers. Definitely a big change | #eBooks #schools

Schools and Libraries

DayYouBeginIntroducing #cbadspotlight & the 2019-20 Monthly #classroombookaday Selections from @heisereads ow.ly/qJlL30p77pz | Spotlighting 3 #PictureBooks each month w/ inclusive + #OwnVoices features for classroom #ReadAloud

The Loss of #SchoolLibrarians Is Hurting Kids (and #Teachers) via lower grades, less parent involvement + more ow.ly/VWbv30p7g74 | @SamanthaCleaver @WeAreTeachers

The Deficit Lens of the #AchievementGap Needs to Be Flipped to a focus on the resources provided (+ not) to students, says @davepaunesku in OpEd  @educationweek ow.ly/UoBG30p7G1G #EducationalEquity

QuietSusanCainReaching the Quiet Kids in Class | @buddyxo @EdSurge ow.ly/49Ab30p7Gk7 | #introversion #FlippedClassroom #EdTech

#Teaching Vocabulary Takes More Than Just Talking About Words During #ReadAloud - Brittany Oakley shares some ideas for overcoming time squeeze to teach vocab more directly @EdWeekTeacher https://t.co/nOwWSd0836

#GiftedEducation Faces "Clear and Present" Problems - Chester E. Finn shares results from recent @IEAgifted survey ow.ly/iEnY30p9RNo | #giftedness

Parenting + Social Media 

Tips for #Homeschooling a Challenging Child from @thisreadingmama, who has been there ow.ly/mNSq30p9S27 | #LearningDifferences #autism #ADHD #parenting

Increase in #SocialMedia or TV use (but not gaming) correlated w/ rise in teens' depressive symptoms, study says ow.ly/jIGf30p9RzD | @JacqEHoward @cnnhealth | #MentalHealth #TeenDepression @JAMAPediatrics

Testing + Standards

Can Everyone Be Excellent? What would happen if every student met the #testing standards? @alfiekohn calls the standards-and-accountability movement ... an elaborate sorting device ow.ly/96sQ30p7qL9 | #schools

States Are Ratcheting Up #Reading Expectations For 3rd-Graders. "Policies like #MandatoryRetention have put pressure on teachers to have students reading at earlier ages" ow.ly/hAxJ30p8MiX @AlexandraStarr @NPR

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: July 17: #SummerReading + #SummerWriting Edition

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every three to four weeks.  

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have three short posts about my daughter's recent reading and writing experiences. In the first, I share a simple moment that made me happy as a bookworm parent. In the second, I share my daughter's fascination with fonts and formats. In the third, I share photographic evidence of my commitment to reading choice (from a library visit). As I was traveling for a couple of weeks, I only have two posts with the literacy and reading-related links that I shared on Twitter, but one of them is  quite extensive. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished one middle grade title and six adult titles (five fiction and one nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • MapOfDaysRansom Riggs: A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children. Dutton Books. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed July 9, 2019, on MP3. I found this an intriguing new installment in the Peculiar Children series. The ending promises additional titles, which pleases me. 
  • Jim Geraghty: Between Two Scorpions. Discus Books. Adult Thriller. Completed June 29, 2019, on Kindle. This was one of those books that interested me enough to finish, but not enough to read avidly, and thus slowed down my reading overall. 
  • Jason Brennan and Phillip Magness: Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education. Oxford University Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed July 5, 2019, on Kindle. This non-partisan book is about structural issues (such as poor incentive structures) that create problems in our system of higher education. I found it interesting, because this is an interest of mine, but it was also a bit slow for me. The combination of this and the previous book really cut down my reading significantly. Fortunately, Todd Borg helped me get my groove back. 
  • TahoeDeathfallTodd Borg: Tahoe Deathfall (Owen McKenna, No. 1). Thriller Press. Adult Mystery. Completed June 30, 2019, on Kindle. I quite like these books, about a Tahoe-area private investigator (former SF cop). I do have some quibbles over the writing. Borg includes regular information dumps on various topics via conversation, not my favorite technique. But he is also very good at creating perilous situations and keeping the reader turning the pages. I also like the characters, especially Owen's spotted Great Dane, Spot. It's also fun that the books (so far) are set in the early 2000s. I got a kick out of Owen whipping out a zip drive, for instance. 
  • Todd Borg: Tahoe Blowup (Owen McKenna, No. 2). Thriller Press. Adult Mystery. Completed July 7, 2019, on Kindle.
  • Todd Borg: Tahoe Ice Grave (Owen McKenna, No. 3). Thriller Press. Adult Mystery. Completed July 12, 2019, on Kindle.
  • GiftedSchoolBruce Holsinger: The Gifted School. Riverhead Books. Adult Fiction. Completed July 15, 2019, on Kindle. This book completely hooked me, and I highly recommend it. It's a fiction title that is freakishly apt for the moment, despite having been started 15 years ago. It's about a tight-knit group of four families who all have 11 year olds. When four local school districts around their upscale, progressive Colorado town band together to create a public magnet school for gifted kids, some of the parents go a bit crazy trying to get their kids admitted. I didn't like all (many?) of the characters, but I still couldn't put it down. 

BetterYouThanMeI'm reading the fourth Owen McKenna book, Tahoe Killshot. I'm listening to the latest Mike Bowditch mystery by Paul Doiron, Almost Midnight. My daughter and I have stopped reading the sixth Harry Potter book. It think it was just too dark for her, especially for summer. We may try to get back into it on a long car ride later in the summer. She has been listening to The Swiss Family Robinson on her own. She loves the old Disney movie and picked up a used copy of the book at the library bookstore recently. She needed an audio while doing a boring chore (shredding) and asked for that one. I'll be surprised if she gets all the way through it, but you never know. She's also reading Better You Than Me by Jessica Brody (a fresh take on Freaky Friday). She's reading it a bit at a time, stopping to read various graphic novels and picture books. She especially liked the first Benny Breakiron book by Peyo: The Red Taxi. We'll be looking for the others, I suppose. 

MalsSpellBookYesterday a friend passed on four Disney Descendants books to her. She read the first one (Mal's Spell Book) in a single sitting after dinner. She particularly appreciated one of the fonts, and wants to try writing that way. She is eagerly awaiting a number of sequels/series installments, but seems to be fine dabbling in the meantime. She's also writing a lot, which I love. She's working on a story and has created little sketches and bios of each of the characters, as well as a diagram that shows how they are connected. I'm enjoying it all very much. Summer reading and summer writing are beautiful things!

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Giving My Daughter Free Choice at the Library: Photographic Proof

ScoobyDooBooks_FotorI write frequently about the importance of giving kids choice in their reading material in order to nurture their love of reading. I thought that my readers might be glad to know that I do walk the walk on this topic. A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I popped into the library. It was an unplanned stop. We were parked relatively far away and I had no bag with me to hold books. Nevertheless, my daughter found a few books that she simply HAD to take home. 

Her selection: 15 Scooby Doo Choose Your Own Adventure books and one cookbook (which someone had left by the checkout machines). I did draw the line when her selection included duplicates of the Scooby Doo books. We spent some time sorting to make sure we had one, and only one, copy of each title. But other than that, I let her run free. 

I have nothing against Scooby Doo Choose Your Own Adventure books or cookbooks, of course. I read what I believe were the original Choose Your Own Adventure titles back in the day. But I can't say that these are the books that I would have selected. And that, my friends, is the whole point. 

If kids enjoy reading, they will read. The number one way to ensure that they enjoy reading is to let them read what they like. If that means checking out 15  books from the same series, so be it. 

Would it surprise anyone to know that although she hasn't actually read all of these books, she is considering writing her own Choose Your Own Adventure story? 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: July 12: Knowledge vs. Reading Comprehension, Divisiveness in YA Twitter + Summer Road Trips

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter recently @JensBookPage. I missed the past couple of weeks of roundups because of travel and houseguests, but I was saving articles in my readers. Below you will find a veritable bonanza of links about #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #giftedness, #Happiness, #HigherEd, #literacy, #LoveOfBooks, #math, #NoSummerSlide, #phonics, #play, #ReadingLogs, #RoadTrips, #ScreenTime, #STEM, #SummerReading, parenting, reading, schools, testing, writing and lots more. 

Book Lists + Awards

HumanBodyTheaterNew #BookList from @momandkiddo | Children's Books about the Amazing Human Body! ow.ly/yVRG30p5Bk7 | My daughter loves Human Body Theater (nonfiction #GraphicNovel about the body)

#EasyReaders and Early #ChapterBooks: Some of the Best of 2019 per @fuseeight ow.ly/dZui30p4RJe #BookList

Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Beginning #ChapterBook Series: Ages 6-10 ow.ly/jd5s30p4RGv | A good #BookList @momandkiddo b/c kids love #FunnyBooks

100 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens' #SummerReading List | @amightygirl #BookList ow.ly/wEkU30oYRsw | I will note that these #DiverseBooks w/ strong protagonists should be great for boys, too.

Announcing the Winners of the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards! — @fuseeight ow.ly/pw4u30p6p2Y #GraphicNovels, #kidlit #nonfiction

Diversity + Gender

BlackWitchYes, #YA Twitter Can Be Toxic, But It Also Points Out Real Problems ow.ly/F8Wo30p0J43 @mollytempleton @BuzzFeed | #DiverseBooks #OwnVoices #Publishing

Torn apart: the vicious war over young adult books | @leobenedictus @GuardianBooks ow.ly/ybJR30oYRz1 | What is #CancelCulture doing to #YA fiction? | #DiverseBooks #OwnVoices

Events, Programs + Research

McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys Caught in Backlash Over Plastic - @SaabiraC @WSJ ow.ly/Dr8F30p5Z1b | I say replace all the toys with children's books for a win-win solution

HiddenTribesRepublicans and Democrats Don't Understand Each Other - @Yascha_Mounk @TheAtlantic ow.ly/fGO130oZI7g - New study by @MiC_Global shows #PerceptionGap, especially among educated Democrats

Research finds Texas 10% policy didn’t expand number of high schools feeding students to top universities ow.ly/Lu5c30p5C4n #HigherEd @hechingerreport @jillbarshay

Preschoolers Who Practice #Phonics Show Stronger #Math Skills, Study Finds - @EdWeekTeacher https://t.co/vGqY7YN6gY

Brain Wars: #UnitStudies vs. Brain #Science@MarlaSzwast ow.ly/Nimu30p4R5o "what goes on in our brains when we learn is much more similar to what happens in every other person’s brain than it is different."

Not even a little bit surprising, but still good: Study Finds Toddlers Prefer Print Books over Tablets – @ClevelandClinic ow.ly/jZ9N30p46or #GrowingBookworms

I think this is a really neat program: To Improve Care, #VA Asks Patients Their Life Stories + adds them to medical record | @bkesling @WSJ ow.ly/5kTB30p4OtU | An idea for @KPMemberService

Growing Bookworms

ClassroomBookADay#classroombookaday - #PictureBooks Are For ANY Grade ow.ly/4Anl30oYRpb | @heisereads "Picture book is a format, not an age designation"

Pros & Cons of #ReadingLogs - @Larryferlazzo shares responses from 4 educators | I'm w/ @LRobbTeacher + @huels_ryan https://t.co/rzUbn2LIDp

Road Trip #Literacy Tips for When You Can’t Read in the Car from @TheReadingTub ow.ly/6kYy30p4QZx | Alphabet games + more | In my family we play a game where we name a winery for each letter of the alphabet

#NoSummerSlide Week 5 @TheReadingTub – Road Trip #Literacy Ideas (when you can't read in the car), Part 2 ow.ly/MTb030p4Riv | music, #audiobooks, #podcasts + more

#NoSummerSlide Week 6 @TheReadingTub #Literacy-themed #RoadTrip Activities, Part 3 ow.ly/eTcn30p5Bsi | Journals + treasure hunts are both up my daughter's alley for sure

Booktalks: An Often-Overlooked Way to Foster a #LoveOfReading in Children | Christine French Cully  @ReadBrightly ow.ly/BAYo30p6OC0 | "reading for pleasure makes us smarter, more empathetic, and even healthier"

This is awesome! Books on wheels: School bus keeps #SummerReading rolling | Herald & Tribune ow.ly/2FPO30p4RZg | via @bkshelvesofdoom

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

PigeonSchoolMy daughter saw this story + we had to order the book immediately: Mo Willems Prepares Another ‘Pigeon’ Book - @chriskornelis @WSJ ow.ly/CcY630p4OPn @The_Pigeon @DisneyBooks

The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States (2019 Edition) — @FuseEight ow.ly/Qd2t30p5TKc #kidlit #art

What Creates a #Reading Identify, and should we be worried about a decline in reading among today's kids? @Kerensd @AwfullyBigBlog ow.ly/5R0h30p5BpT #LoveOfBooks #GrowingBookworms

Is teaching #writing as important as teaching #reading? Yes, say many. It encourages independent thinking, empowerment + communication @MollySpray @washingtonpost https://t.co/IAC3suyN8F 

On the UK #ChildrensLaureate speeches, kids' rights as readers + a reminder that it's easier to convince kids of the #JoyOfReading than it is adults, by @KMcCaughrain @AwfullyBigBlog ow.ly/6Gpx30p6PdB

WizardsOnceNew UK #ChildrensLaureate @CressidaCowell wants to 'take on TV' to encourage kids to love books + boost creative #writing + #SchoolLibraries ow.ly/6npL30p5ZzO @BBC

#Writing Tips for Kids 11 @BookChook - Write Great Dialogue ow.ly/NAsr30p4RWD | Listen to people chatting, pay attention to what you read in books + more

I agree w/ @MarniAtHome that handwritten thank-you notes are the grace notes of life ow.ly/Mxmg30oZoX6 | They are getting rarer all the time, but I always appreciate them | #Gratitude

Parenting, Screen Time + Play

The First Time Our Child Was Asked “To Come Out and Play” | #TeacherMom @HonorsGradU shares tips for supporting + reassuring parents as they strive to build autonomy in kids ow.ly/T10P30p6PoZ

ScreenwiseAt Your Wits' End With A Screen-Obsessed Kid? Read This | @MindShiftKQED @anya1anya ow.ly/6elh30p4S5X | #parenting #ScreenTime @DevorahHeitner

I agree completely w/ @TrevorHCairney that #boredom is still good for children! ow.ly/lJf730p5DkG #parenting #play #creativity

I certainly agree with this piece: A Young Imagination Beats Videogames - Mike Kerrigan @WSJopinion ow.ly/yULI30p0l2d #play #ScreenTime

Parents, Reject the Fear-Mongering says #TeacherMom @HonorsGradU ow.ly/NJ1H30p4RRN | Push back on #HelicopterParenting w/ Mary's questions about #FreePlay + #ChildIndependence

Study of 1500 UK parents found most care more about their kids' #happiness than about their #grades or professional success ow.ly/uTza30p4Rg5 @TheSun via @drdouggreen

10 Signs That Your Child Is More Ready for #Kindergarten Than You Might Think – @HonorsGradU ow.ly/jd1830p4R2d | They enjoy stories (even if they aren't sitting perfectly still) + lots more | #ChildDevelopment #Parenting

Schools and Libraries

KnowledgeGapElementary-School Curriculum Is All Wrong | In early grades, #schools value reading-comprehension skills over knowledge. Results are bad, espec. for poor kids @natwexler @TheAtlantic https://t.co/OnBmbLfsdX

Bob Shepherd: This Is What a Generation of “Standards and Testing” Has Done to #ELA Teaching | @DianeRavitch via @drdouggreen | #teaching skills instead of content ow.ly/5jnc30p5TBZ

Serving the #Math Whiz Kids: Private enrichment programs step up to meet the need that #schools are not filling for kids strong in math | @TchersPet @EducationNext ow.ly/aiXN30p5TMH | #giftedness #PISA #STEM

#Grades Are Lousy Preparation for Life - @mssackstein ow.ly/LmOj30p4R8W | Grades in the 90s are very good in #school, but most jobs expect near 100% performance. Some don't even have numeric metrics

20,000 Pennies: How a #BookClub Transformed our #School Community by #SchoolLibrarian Sarah FitzHenry @nerdybookclub ow.ly/zZOf30oZIeC #LittleFreeLibraries

This makes sense to me | How Building in Time for Exam Review Supports Advances in Student Learning | @kendalrolley @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/IFaH30oZoRi | #GrowthMindset #Testing

7 Effective Family Involvement Techniques for Teachers from @growingbbb ow.ly/Jtx430p6p04 | Enhance communication, rethink #homework + more

Here's something I hadn't considered: #Schools Wrestle With Privacy of #DigitalData Collected on Students (e.g. search histories) @BetsyMorris2 @WSJ https://t.co/z2IMDUV3HF

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

A Modern Literacy Milestone: A Preference for Specific Fonts


Recently my daughter has displayed a preference for certain fonts. She likes Century Gothic best, but also enjoys playing around with others when she is working in Microsoft Word. I feel  like this one is something of a modern milestone. When I was a kid there was no Word and I didn't learn to type until middle school. The fonts that came in books were just background, as far as I can remember, not something that one had preferences about. 

But my daughter, a budding writer and a reader of many picture books and graphic novels, notices fonts. She came up to me with a book the other day and said "Look! I think this is Century Gothic." I taught her about serif  vs. sans-serif fonts, since she was  interested.

She has taken to occasionally entering her hand-written stories into Word (hitting me up to help with the data entry). In those cases she spends time experimenting with the fonts (making important words larger and bolding them, etc.). She also leaves text boxes so that she can print out the document and add her own illustrations. 

I'm mulling setting her up with a typing app, but this is in conflict with my desire to limit her screen time, so I've been putting that off. In the meantime, I think it's neat that she has started noticing fonts and formatting conventions, much earlier than I ever did. Thanks for reading and for growing bookworms!

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

A Successful #GrowingBookworms Moment

KristysBigDayYesterday afternoon, after a busy day, my daughter left the bathroom declaring that she was going to read "every word" of Kristy's Big Day (a Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel that she has read many times). She curled up on the couch to do so and a period of quiet ensued. Then I heard her give a deep, satisfied sigh and say: "I love that book!".

That's all. Just a teeny tiny moment in the life of raising a young bookworm. But for me, such moments are what it's all about. I do have three conclusion to draw from this experience.

  1. If you want your children to love books, you should let them re-read to their hearts' content. It doesn't matter what they are reading, just that they enjoy it and choose it themselves. 
  2. It is worthwhile to purchase copies of the books that your children really love, because you never now when the whim to read a beloved title might strike. 
  3. It is also worthwhile to keep book baskets in convenient locations around your home, especially in  the bathrooms.

Just saying…

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: June 21: #SchoolLibrarians, #SummerReading + ReadingChoice: All Important

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookAccess, #Dyslexia, #FreeRangeKids, #GraphicNovels, #GrowingBookworms, #HungerGames, #ReadingChallenges, #ReadingChoice, #SchoolLibrarians, #SummerReading, #SummerSlide, #testing, #ViewpointDiversity, conversation, learning, play, and publishing. 

Top Tweet of the Week

GameChangerIf Kids Can’t Read What They Want in the Summer, When Can They? | Excellent op-ed from @donalynbooks @sljournal on why kids need choice in #SummerReading to develop #LoveOfBooks ow.ly/XwuB30oXHti | Please share w/ #teachers you know


On the Importance of Learning to Argue - @HdxAcademy ow.ly/LimU30oYclx "In order to flourish (as a society), we must engage in truly #CivilDiscourse" | #ViewpointDiversity #conversation

ListeningLeaderAm I Listening? – #SchoolPrincipal @ritaplatt shares her efforts to cultivate a Listening #Mindset @ReadByExample ow.ly/9vM330oYcNV | I think anyone could benefit from working to improve #listening skills

Events, Programs + Research

New research finds: Thinking About Their Own Multiple Identities Boosts Children’s Creativity + Problem-Solving Skills – @Psych_Writer @ResearchDigest ow.ly/ggE030oYcVN @sarahegaither #FlexibleThinking

The #GlobalReadAloud and integrating w/ a #Literacy Curriculum | ow.ly/CR7B30oWtOS #GRA19 @pernilleripp #ReadAloud

A Core Subgroup of Believers Don’t Just Think #LearningStyles Are Real, But Also Inherited + Hard-Wired In The Brain – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest ow.ly/c71q30oYtAG | Seems counter to #GrowthMindset | @pritirshah

Growing Bookworms

DogManFleasThis post will bring a tear to the eye of people who care about kids + #reading | Dog Man to The Rescue: How #BookAccess Saved My 3rd Grade Student by #SchoolLibrarian @RaisingReal @nerdybookclub

#NoSummerSlide Week 3 from @TheReadingTub – Goal Getters Edition ow.ly/TlIw30oXdzq | Encourage kids to think about things they want to do over the summer while building #literacy

The Purpose of reading…What is your reading offer part 2. | @smithsmm on things #schools need to do to create readers, w/ deep dive on purposes kids may have for #reading https://t.co/Twzae8ciaX

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

MatildaMy Favourite Villains by @ClaireFayers @AwfullyBigBlog ow.ly/K15x30oWWLw | Who are your favorite fictional villains? I'm with Claire on Matilda's parents. Ugh!

This is interesting: #HungerGames prequel set 64 years earlier coming in 2020 ow.ly/9wmc30oXdv4 @Scholastic #SuzanneCollins #dystopia #YA

The Adults Voluntarily Giving Themselves #Reading #Homework | @julieebeck on #ReadingChallenges in @TheAtlantic ow.ly/xmif30oWWOA via @MindShiftKQED | Personally, I prefer to read as the spirit moves me. I don't even do #BookClubs

Were Youth Books Truly Diverse in 2018? @lochwouters takes a look at the #publishing statistics ow.ly/bT3c30oYtGz | #DiverseBooks #kidlit #DiversityJedi

AlphaBooks for the #Dyslexic Child Reader: Why the British Do It Better — @fuseeight ow.ly/VCZD30oXHEy @BarringtonStoke | #publishing #kidlit

Parenting + Play

America Needs More Kids on Bikes - @jasongay @WSJ ow.ly/nTI130oWQqR | "But really the reason I want you to ride a bicycle is this: You’ll be free." #FreeRangeKids #independence

5 Things That Might Be Worse Than #SummerSlide@HonorsGradU reflects on joys of summer that kids might miss by spending their time on mandatory #SummerReading assignments + such

Schools and Libraries

This is a travesty | In a liberal Boston suburb, kindergarten teachers say their students are learning to ‘hate’ school + hate reading, as standards force out play-based #learning ow.ly/QstL30oWQl3 @washingtonpost @valeriestrauss

Non-negotiables for #schools - is JOY one of them? ow.ly/ujhy30oYtW7 | @Jennifer_Hogan

#SchoolLibrarians, is no-one listening? How to help #schools understand our role by @Elizabethutch ow.ly/wEpP30oXHXv #GreatSchoolLibraries | Personally, I have loved + appreciated school #librarians since elementary school

A parent who is a African American, lifelong Oakland resident + Democrat shares why she thinks Bernie Sanders is wrong about #CharterSchools in @mercnews https://t.co/XKoJRgRriO

Testing and Grades

Why Can’t Everyone Get A’s? @alfiekohn @nytopinion takes on "the false belief that excellence is a zero-sum game" + the insidiousness of evaluating kids relative to one another ow.ly/kMyx30oXlB0 #standards #testing #grades

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: June 19: Sending a Young Reader to Summer Camp Edition

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every three to four weeks.  

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have two posts with my daughter's latest literacy milestones. The first is about writing and revising a personal narrative. The second is about encouraging others (mainly my husband) to read more. I also have a post with tips for parents to encourage kids' summer reading, and another for parents about allowing and encouraging their kids to read graphic novels. Finally, I have a news release from Barnes and Noble with the results of a recent survey on readers' summer reading (and associated screen time reduction) plans.

Since the last newsletter I published four posts with literacy and reading-related links shared over the past few weeks on Twitter. In the interest of brevity, I have not included them in the newsletter. You can find them here: May 24, May 31, June 7, and June 14. I have a summary of our recent reading below. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished one middle grade title and eight adult titles (six fiction and two nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • WimpyKidHardLuckJeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck. Harry N. Abrams Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 20, 2019, read aloud to my daughter. I've been enjoying these books, but am ready to take a break to move on to reading something a bit more substantial with my daughter over the summer. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Tamarack County (Cork O'Connor, No. 13). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 21, 2019, on MP3. Still good! 
  • Gytha Lodge: She Lies in Wait. Random House. Adult Mystery. Completed May 21, 2019, on Kindle. This is the first book in a new UK-based police procedural, and it quite held my attention. I look forward to future installments. 
  • Daniel H. Pink: When: The Science of Perfect Timing. Riverhead Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 23, 2019, on Kindle. This book convinced me to delay drinking my morning caffeine until I've been up for an hour. I found it absorbing, but in looking back don't have a lot of other takeaways at this point. I need to go back and look at my notes.
  • StrangerDiariesElly Griffiths: The Stranger Diaries. HMH Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 24, 2019, on Kindle. This is an excellent, twisty standalone by Griffiths, author of the Ruth Galloway series (one of my favorites). It's a modern gothic, told from several perspectives, and keeps the reader guessing. 
  • Dana Reinhardt: Tomorrow There Will Be Sun. Pamela Dorman Books. Adult Fiction. Completed May 25, 2019, on Kindle. This is kids and YA Reinhardt's first foray into adult fiction. It's about two families who travel to Mexico to celebrate the 50th birthdays of the two men, long-time business partners, and secrets that are revealed. The end seemed a bit anti-climactic to me, but I am used to more standard mysteries, rather than reading about personal drama. 
  • WhereYouGoBruniFrank Bruni: Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be. Grand Central Publishing. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 26, 2019, personal print copy. This book is written for high schoolers and their parents, about the excellent education and quality of life that can be obtained by not stepping onto the elite college admissions hamster wheel. Though this process is still a few years away for my daughter, I still tore through the book. It's one of those titles that I find myself bringing up to other people in conversation. Highly recommended, especially for younger high schoolers. 
  • James Tucker: The Holdouts (Buddy Locke, No. 2). Thomas & Mercer. Adult Mystery/Thriller. Completed May 29, 2019, on Kindle. This is the second (and maybe final) book in  an Amazon-published thrilled series. I didn't find either book plausible, but Tucker has a real knack for keeping the reader turning the pages via cliffhangers. I read this one very quickly. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Windigo Island (Cork O'Connor, No. 14). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed June 4, 2019, on MP3. Still good. I'm going to be caught up with this series soon, and so am taking a break to listen to some other titles in my queue. 

MapOfDaysI'm reading Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education by Jason Brennan and Philip Magness  and listening to A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, Book 4) by Ransom Riggs. I've re-started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to my daughter, after I cleverly suggested watching the movie of Order of the Phoenix right before the start of summer vacation. Please no one tell her who the Half-Blood Prince is - she is dying to know, but doesn't really want spoilers. 

AlvinHo2In terms of her own reading, she packed six books to take with her to her five-night sleep-away camp (her first time). I don't imagine she'll get through many (or any?) of them, but she seemed  to find it comforting. I think only two of her selections were graphic novels - the other books were middle grade fiction titles she is either partway through or interested in reading. This included the second Alvin Ho book by Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham, after she tore through the first one in about a day. 

One recent moment that I enjoyed was when we went to an open house at the camp a week before her session. She met another girl who was going to be in her session. They were talking about which sleeping location they hoped to be placed in for camp. I overheard my daughter say:

"I hope we're in (specific unit) because there's a library there. I like to read."

That's my girl! Continuing to define herself as a reader. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Growing Bookworms: In Defense of #GraphicNovels for Kids' #SummerReading

FirstDayOfSummerReadingMiaJust in time for kids' summer reading, I ran across two articles last week defending graphic novels as "real reading." Here I share some notes from those articles together with my response based on my experience with my daughter [pictured on her first morning of summer vacation, as I was trying to get her to rally to leave the house.]

In the first, written two years ago, librarian Molly Wetta at Book Riot shares her Annual Reminder that Graphic Novels are "Real" Reading. As far as I can tell, there's nothing much in this piece that is any less relevant today than it was two years ago. Molly  says:

"I love helping children select books they’re excited to read, and delight in finding them titles based on their own interests and reading tastes. However, without fail, I will encounter parents who are not allowing their children to read graphic novels, or are telling kids these “don’t count.”"

She then shares a number of talking points that she has developed for parents and other caregivers on the literary merit of graphic novels for kids. She also links to some lists of recommended titles (though these will not include the very latest releases, of course). Her arguments about the benefits of graphic novels for visual learners and the way that graphic novels help kids learn to make inferences are well worth a look

The second piece I came across was a recent blog post written by teacher Pernille Ripp titled Not Too Easy - Embracing Graphic Novels at Home. Pernille begins by reminding readers that graphic novels are the biggest reason that her oldest daughter believes in herself as a reader. She notes that despite kids' enthusiasm for graphic novels:

"... one of the biggest push backs in reading also happens to surround graphic novels with many parents and educators lamenting their “easiness.” Within these missives lies a movement to then steer kids away from these “dessert” books and into “harder” reading, or outright banning the reading of graphic novels, telling kids that these books are just for fun, don’t count toward whatever set goal or points, or even confiscating them from kids seen reading them."

In the remainder of her post, she shares reasons why parents should defend their children's reading of graphic novels, and why they are not, in fact, too easy. She notes that in her own experience "it is the pictures that actually add to the sophistication and difficulty of graphic novels because of the skills required to read the images."

LunchLadyReadingThis point meets with my own experience. Not having grown up reading graphic novels, or even as much of a fan of comic books, I find graphic novels difficult to read. I'm much more in my comfort zone reading linear text. When I have to move back and forth between the pictures and text bubbles, and potentially other text from a narrator, I don't know where to put my focus. Although I could certainly enhance my skills in this area, my point is that reading integrated text and pictures is a zone of relative weakness for me as a reader. My daughter, on the other hand, is a master at this. She has been devouring graphic novels since I first slipped Jarrett Krosoczka's Lunch Lady books into her eager hands (about three years ago, see photo to the left). And for what it's worth, despite what remains a primarily graphic novel diet, her standardized test and other reading scores are more than sufficient. 

Pernille also adds, in response to concerns that kids plow through graphic novels too quickly:

"However, here there is one distinction in the habit of many readers of graphic novels; while they may read the graphic novel quickly on the first try, what often happens then is the re-reads of the same graphic novel as they pore over the pages more closely once they have navigated the story once. This process is one that only adds value as their understanding deepens with each re-read." 

This certainly meets with my experience in watching my graphic novel-obsessed daughter. When a new graphic novel lands in her hands (particularly if it is from a series that she already enjoys) she sits down with it immediately and plows through it. She will often finish in less than half an hour. The other day she did this with Red's Planet, Book 2 and suggested to me that I should be borrowing graphic novels instead of purchasing them, since she reads them so quickly.

MegJoBethBut she re-reads them. Sometimes many times. Sometimes many times over a few days (as recently occurred with Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy: A Modern Retelling  of Little Women) and sometimes after a break (Invisible Emmie and companion titles). I find it fascinating to watch as she reads the same book over time, extracting different levels of meaning. Even though she can read them quickly, I consider purchasing these books a worthwhile investment. 

One other point: a commenter on Twitter argued (after I shared Pernille's piece) that a steady diet of graphic novels can harm some kids' ability to be able to visualize on their own. If they are spoon-fed illustrated stories, the argument appears to go, they become less able to make their own pictures when reading non-illustrated texts. I don't know about the research in this area, and I could imagine this being the case for struggling readers. What I do know is that my daughter says that she has no difficulty at all visualizing when she reads standard texts, and that she thinks reading graphic novels and picture books has helped in her case. 

But I am running on. There's lots of other material for parents to help understand the benefits of graphic novels in Pernille's piece. Please do go and read the whole thing, along with Molly Wetta's piece. Take their guidance, together with my family's experience, as you  decide whether or not to encourage your children to read graphic novels this summer. My take is: yes, graphic novels are real reading. They have their own distinct benefits. Most important: kids love them, which bolsters reading choice (and hence reading itself). 

[See also this link to a list of articles defending graphic novels for kids, maintained by Jess Keating.]

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

News Release: Barnes and Noble Surveys Readers on #SummerReading Plans + Balancing #Reading + #ScreenTime

There's some food for thought in the following press release from Barnes and Noble. They share the results of an online survey of 1,502 adults in the United States who plan to read a book this summer. The sample included 1,001 respondents who are the parents of school-aged children between 6 and 17 years old.

I think it's important to note that this is a sample that is biased towards being pro-reading already. Still, among that sample, the results seem to me to be a mix of encouraging ["70% (of parents) said summer reading for their kids is just as important as reading during the school year"] and depressing [while most parents want their kids to spend some time device free, the bar for that seemed very low, including spending an hour or two offline per day]. News release is below: 

Put Down the Phone, Pick Up a Book:
Most Readers Plan to Break the Electronics Habit
and Focus on Reading This Summer, New Survey Shows

In Push for More Device-Free Time, 9-of-10 Parents Will Ask Their Children to Sign Off to Read, According to Barnes & Noble-Commissioned Independent Study

New York, NY – June 12, 2019 A large majority of American readers (80%) plan to put away their cell phones to focus on reading this summer, according to an independent survey of 1,500 reading adults commissioned by Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller. Of those expressing the desire to make reading a priority, many have vowed not to look at their phones for between 30 minutes and two hours during each reading session.  


The survey, conducted in early May by the market research company Atomik Research, also showed nearly 90% of parents with children between six- and 17-years old plan to ask their youngsters not to use electronic devices like cell phones and video games during certain periods of time during the summer. Of those, 44% said they want their kids to be device-free for more than three hours; 21% would be happy if their kids were off phones and videos for one-to-two hours a day.

“Parents have high hopes for themselves and their kids when it comes to reading habits this summer,” said Tim Mantel, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for Barnes & Noble. “The desire to impose device-free time on themselves and their children was very strong among survey respondents, an indication of the importance of reading across generations.”

In fact, 61% of parents surveyed said summer reading is very important to their families, and 70% said summer reading for their kids is just as important as reading during the school year. In a sign that reading is a shared activity in many households, 69% of parents said their families read together during the summer, with more than half of parents (55%) planning to read the same books as their children this summer so they can have a bonding experience.

Parents also have high expectations of the number of books their children should read this summer, compared with the broader sample.  Of the 1,500 readers surveyed, 38% hope to read one to three books this summer, while 37% hope to read four to six books. Among parents, 35% want their child/children to read four to six books this summer, 26% want them to read 10 or more books, and 25% want them to read one to three books.

What (and How) Will They Be Reading?

Among the full sample of readers, 48% said they plan to read books in the mystery genre this summer, 37% in the history genre, 34% in the fantasy genre and 33% in the science fiction genre.

Sixty-nine percent of summer readers said they will most often read a print book. Nearly a quarter (24%) of summer readers will most often read a book on an electronic device, while seven percent will listen to an audiobook. Of those reading or listening on a device, 34% will use an e-Reader, 34% will use a cell phone and 32% will use a tablet.

In Storytelling, Books Win the Day

The survey also found that when it comes to storytelling, books are favored over movies and television programs hands down. Respondents said that when a television show or movie is based on a book, more than three-quarters (77%) of both summer readers and parents say the book is usually better than television show or movie.

"Even with the amazing technology in modern film-making and the broad variety of television programming, respondents still enjoy the reading experience more in terms of storytelling," Mr. Mantel said.  "The idea of curling up with a good book never loses its appeal."

Research Methodology:

Barnes & Noble commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 1,502 adults in the United States who plan to read a book this summer. The sample included 1,001 respondents who are the parents of school-aged children between 6 and 17 years old. The margin of error fell within +/- 3 percentage points, with a confidence interval of 95%. The fieldwork took place from May 7-9, 2019.  Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: June 14: #GraphicNovels, #SummerReading + the #ToBeWritten List

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this fairly busy week include #BookLists, #FathersDay, #GraphicNovels, #Homeschool, #NoSummerSlide, #PoetryFriday, #PuzzleBooks, #ScreenTime, learning, publishing, reading, research, and testing.

Top Tweet of the Week

RealFriendsGood stuff here! Annual Reminder from @molly_wetta for parents that #GraphicNovels are "Real" Reading |@BookRiot ow.ly/nlHn30oUUMB #SummerReading #JoyOfReading

Book Lists

Ten #PictureBooks for #FathersDay | #library display / #BookList suggestions from @abbylibrarian ow.ly/bFbL30oUUAg

10 Cozy + Magical #PictureBooks by Megan Wagner Lloyd | @nerdybookclub ow.ly/HhFX30oUgTN #BookList

Is there a book about... Jennifer Wharton shares #PictureBook #BookLists for common bibliotherapy requests that #librarians may receive ow.ly/PvVW30oUUdz #Adoption #Emotions + lots more

MadLibsBest #PuzzleBooks for Kids: The Perfect Travel Companion, timely #BookList from @momandkiddo ow.ly/lBwR30oUUHc | #MadLibs, Mazes + lots more

50+ #YA Paperbacks For 2019 #SummerReading | Detailed + varied #BookList from Kelly Jensen @BookRiot, organized by release date https://t.co/gm4N8PZxpb

Do We Expect #Nonfiction to Be Serious? — @fuseeight looks at some of the funnier books of 2019 to see how they do with the challenge | ow.ly/9z5Q30oVPMi #PictureBooks #GraphicNovels

Educations Research

New research shows lower test scores for 4th graders who use tablets in #schools, but some types of computer use by older #students do help ow.ly/uI3I30oVl5y | @jillbarshay @hechingerreport #testing #ScreenTime

Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Should #Teachers Know the Basic #Science of How Children Learn? | Yes, says @DTWillingham in #AmericanEducator https://t.co/D6WqzpngY7

Growing Bookworms / Summer Reading

#NoSummerSlide Week 2 – #FathersDay Ideas for families to enhance #Literacy from @TheReadingTub ow.ly/ZXpG30oUUiM

Not Too Easy – Embracing #GraphicNovels at Home – thoughts from @pernilleripp on the benefits of visual complexity, re-reading + generally enticing books https://t.co/RbVdSzz2iz

There's some fun stuff in @ReadBrightly's #SummerReading Challenge for Kids — 2019 Edition, but I agree w/ @jennifergarry that parents should NOT make #reading a chore https://t.co/WMNMaJYbiA

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

HappyKidCan + Should Traditionally Published Authors Market Their E-books? @gail_gauthier has some thoughts + experience w/ this ? | ow.ly/SKug30oU4U1 #ebooks #publishing

At Two Writing Teachers, @BethMooreSchool suggests that teachers use a #ToBeWritten List (like a #TBR list) to encourage summer #writing https://t.co/yt6GZZ0RBR

Are You Book ‘Poly’? asks @ehbluemle @PWKidsBookshelf | Me, I'm usually #reading at least 1 book on Kindle, 1 in print + 1 #audiobook ow.ly/jLLs30oVlcH | Sometimes more to mix #fiction + #nonfiction

Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions from @literacious ow.ly/T9IO30oVkK7 | I kind of want to get her "All #reading is good reading" (re: kids) put on t-shirts and make people wear them around the neighborhood.

Most Comprehensive Review To Date Finds The Average Person’s #ReadingSpeed Is Slower Than Previously Thought – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest ow.ly/g3Cg30oWbAa | Implications for #teachers in declaring "slow readers"?


PeasAndCarrots"When Tanita hugs you" -- I loved this skinny poem by @kellyfineman, but now I want a hug from @tanita_s_davis ow.ly/e0lZ30oU4Wx | #PoetryFriday

Schools and Libraries

This makes sense to me! Why the #School Nurse’s Office Should Have a Well-Stocked #Library by Melissa McDonald and @mrsmelanieroy @nerdybookclub https://t.co/saopcXNfqy

#Memorization is Not a Bad Thing says @gcouros | Students may not need to memorize dates, but should spend time discussing + #learning implications of events https://t.co/QOcmEuISdw

What's it Like Switching from #Homeschool to #PublicSchool, and why might families do it? ow.ly/eN1g30oUUoc @mamasmiles

Why #Homeschool? 10 Great Reasons to Consider #Homeschooling from @mamasmiles ow.ly/b4EL30oVkOF | Time, personalization + more

The Secret Source of Lost #Learning + Educator Burnout | Musings from @rickhess99 on the impact of excessive paperwork in #schools https://t.co/nI3PoBMVux


#STEM Tuesday Spin Off @MGBookVillage | Let it Rain STEM! @marykaycarson looks at science, technology, engineering + math re: rain, w/ #kidlit recommendations https://t.co/EZcWsi7q3e

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Tips for Parents to Encourage #SummerReading

I wrote this article upon request for my daughter's school website, and am sharing a slightly edited version here. 

Summer Slide is a well-documented phenomenon in which students' academic performance slips over the summer break. One report found that "on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning". The good news is that the solution to a Summer Slide in reading scores is simple: get your kids to read over the summer break. 

Of course that's easier said than done. Kids are busy with camps and other activities. They often prefer to spend their free time playing with their friends or poking around on their tablets instead of reading books. And if you try to force them to spend time reading they may well resist you on principle. "It's my summer vacation! I don't HAVE to read and YOU can't make me!". Etc. 

The trick is to make reading enjoyable, so that your kids will choose to do it. Scholastic runs an extensive survey on family reading every two years. This year's Kids and Family Reading Report identified three factors that are common to kids who read frequently for pleasure:

  1. Choice over what they read;
  2. Access to lots of books; and
  3. Reading role models

[See another post I wrote about the KFRR results here.] With those results in mind, here are seven tips for making reading enjoyable for your kids this summer:

  1. KFRR_Access_HighResDownload_Fig6Let them choose what they want to read. This is the MOST important thing you can do as a parent to encourage reading for pleasure. Do not give in to the temptation to "encourage" your daughter to read books that you like, or books that you think are good for her. Do not visibly cringe when all your son wants to read for the entire summer are Dog Man or Goosebumps books. The important thing is that your children are reading books that they THEY enjoy. Re-reading books or reading books that seem to you to be too easy for them gives them valuable practice. Eventually they will choose to move on to more challenging fare and then they'll enjoy that, too. I think it's fine to show them the Battle of the Books lists or other recommended reading lists, but then step back and let them choose those books if and only if they feel inspired. 
  2. Read aloud to them, no matter how old they are. This is one of the things that the kids in the Scholastic survey report that they love most. They love the attention and the closeness. And by reading to them you can read books that are a bit too challenging for them to read on their own, expanding their vocabularies and narrative sense. Reading together is a win on many levels. Even if you are out of the habit, summer is a good time to try again. If you're not comfortable, you could also try listening to audiobooks together. 
  3. Let them see you reading. This works best if you read books or magazines in print. When you are on your tablet, they probably assume that you are texting or doing social media. But if they see you curled up on the couch with a book, TV off, they will be more likely to make that choice themselves. 
  4. Take them to the library or the bookstore (and again, let them choose). Kids are sometimes fickle. What they want to read today may not be what they want to read tomorrow. Having lots of choices, readily available around your house, will make kids more likely to choose to read. 
  5. Keep books in convenient locations in your house. The could be the breakfast table, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, or (as in my house) all of the above. Again, if the books are there, and they are books that your child has chosen (or there are a lot of books for her to choose from), you will increase the chance that your child will decide to read. 
  6. Consider giving your kids flashlights or headlamps to make reading in bed more fun.
  7. Limit screens, at least some of the time, so that your child has some time to read. Something that has worked well for me is not to allow my daughter (age 9) to use her tablet in the car unless the drive is at least 30 minutes. I keep a bin of books in the car (well, ok, two bins) and change the books out regularly. Most of the time, when we are driving to the orthodontist or softball or whatever, my daughter is reading. Often when she has friends in the car with her, they are all reading. Some of my favorite times are when I can listen to them talk to each other about books, smiling quietly to myself. 

A note on Summer Reading programs. There are many programs that focus on getting kids reading. Most of them give prizes for meeting certain milestones. Our PTO Language Arts Chair found this list of 17 Free Summer Reading Programs. I'm not personally a fan of giving kids extrinsic rewards for reading because some studies have shown that the kids will stop reading once the rewards stop coming. But for kids who are extremely reluctant to read, programs like this might offer the push that you need to get them started. Sometimes all it takes is for a child to find the right book, that one book that hooks him, and then he'll be a reader for life. Or at least for this summer, which is the immediate goal. 

See also this post, which is about Scholastic's findings regarding a decline in kids reading for pleasure at age 9.

Thanks for reading and happy summer.