More Than Just Novels

Why parents should value all reading materials.

By Allison McDonald
Jan 29, 2015



More Than Just Novels

Jan 29, 2015

We all know that kids need to be around books to encourage reading, but there are many kids that aren't BFFs with books. Maybe they will be someday (I hope so), but at this point in time they aren't. It could be because they are intimidated by the sheer volume of pages, it could be that they feel too big for picture books but aren't really skilled enough to read the books they want to read, or it could be that their reading attention span is shorter. Whatever the reason, our role as parents is to find ways to make reading a positive experience. So we are going to have to find these kids other materials to read.

Before I list them, I want you to really believe that reading comics is valuable, I want you to accept that reading nonfiction books is just as good for reading for fun as a novel, and that catching your child reading the manual to your car is an amazing thing! The reason I am saying this is that kids pick up on what we think and they pick up on the messages we aren't saying out loud and that affects them. If they think that their mom is disappointed that they are reading a reference book about LEGO instead of a novel, they might try to please mom but end up finding that novel so boring they put it down. Do you see where I am going with this?

We need to value our children's reading materials because that sends them the message that their reading is valuable. It also gives them the control to find what they love to read. I am not saying never encourage them to read a novel, I just want parents to encourage all types of reading materials in hopes that one sticks and turns that child from a kid who can read into a reader.

Here is my big list of things to read that aren't books:

Graphic Novels
How-to Manuals
Picture Books (yes, big kids can and should read these gems!)
Play Scripts
Travel Brochures
Cook Books
Year books

What would you add to this list? Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.


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