Posted: Friday, March 20th, 2009
Motivation is a huge topic in reading. So many parents and teachers deal with motivation issues every day. I saw this quote recently; I think it applies nicely to reading: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. (Jim Ryun, author and runner)
Yesterday’s trip to the library was an interesting lesson for me about Anna’s motivation to read. After Anna slipped 3 or 4 really thick books into our bag, I had to ask her about it.
Me: You sure are getting some big books this time!
Anna: I know! Look! This one has 261 pages. And 18 chapters!
Me: Really! Wow. What’s it about? And what IS THAT on the cover?!
Anna is motivated these days only by books that make her feel older and more like a “real reader.” I remember her going through a similar phase when she wanted to make the jump to chapter books a little before her reading skills were ready (thank goodness for Amanda Pig and Henry and Mudge!)
What motivates a reader to read? For parents, it may mean gathering books about a vacation spot or one that matches your child’s current hobby, keeping the reading climate at home fun and engaging all the way from A-Z.
For teachers, motivating a reader might mean hooking them in through high interest-low vocabulary books or through some outstanding non-fiction picture books, or by getting the family involved through family literacy bags.
Whether you’re a parent or a teacher (or both!), I hope you’re able to find an extra minute or two today to figure out what’s going to create a habit for a special reader in your life.