Developing an After-School Reading Routine
Now that the kids have been in school for several weeks, it’s time to take a look at their reading habits. Whether your child is in 1st grade or 12th grade, chances are they are getting opportunities to read at school. But is that enough?
The older your kids get the less likely they are to have dedicated reading time at school. Instead, they are listening to lectures, working on projects, taking quizzes, etc. Some high school students get a study hour thrown into their class schedule, but again, there is a difference between reading ans studying.
That’s why it is important to develop an after-school reading program for your children. Giving them even half an hour of quit time in which they can read their favorite book can do wonders for their development.
So when your kids get home from school, you need to prioritize. Here’s a plan that we’ve seen work really well:
1) Right when your children get home is the best time to ask them about their day and get a sense of what they learned and talked about, what they enjoyed, what bothered them, etc. It’s likely that they have homework, but don;t demand that they do it right away. Take a few minutes to let them decompress. This is an excellent time to give them a healthy snack.
2) After your kids have calmed down or settled in at home, once you have had a chance to talk with them about their day, and once they’ve had something to eat, help them get going on their homework. They should be able to knock it out quickly.
3) Once homework is done, give your kids an option: Play or read. Before dinner they should get to play with their friends, goof around, and have fun, but this is also an ideal time for a book. If they want to read first, great. Make sure they have 30 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time where they can sit down with a good book. This is probably best done in their own bedroom or a dedicated library if you have one. If your kid would rather get the wiggles out first, that’s fine. Just make sure that you allot 30 minutes before dinner for them to read.