I recently watched a child have a meltdown while doing homework. Why? Not because she is lazy or apathetic. She felt so much pressure. Unfortunately, kids feeling stressed and anxious is a very real thing in our world. Many times the joy of reading is sucked right out because of all that pressure. So, let’s talk about a few ways to reduce the pressure and bring back the joy.

I really believe that for children to understand the joy that comes from reading they need to see it modeled, especially those who find reading stressful.  Read in front of them. Talk to them about what you are reading and why you are enjoying it.

Read together.  Many families have popcorn and movie nights. Switch things up and have a special snack that it reserved for family reading nights.  Don’t stop reading out loud.  Just because your child can read independently, doesn’t mean that he/she always has to.  Pick a family chapter book and read it out loud.  Create a family book club and read together.  Read things that are funny!  Laughter is such a gift.  Read joke books, funny poems, comics and graphic novels. Use books as gifts and rewards.

Stop treating reading as a task and instead treat it like a treasure.    Cook things that you read about in books.  Go to places that you read about in books. Make things that you read about in books.

Here are some award winners to get you started.