Tweens are at the perfect age for enjoying books of every type. There's an engaging book out there for even the most stubborn of tweens. Books for this age level (8 -12) should be interesting, as well as educational in some way. As a mother of tweens, we have gone through so many books - practically as quickly as we go through water. Here are five of what I feel are some of the best educational and engaging books for tweens.
Bubba Goes National by Jennifer Walker
Bubba Goes National is about a girl named Leslie and her horse. This book teaches kids not only about relationships with others, but also about caring for horses. There are many 'girl and her horse' stories, but both of my tweens agree there are none like Bubba Goes National. This engaging story will take kids on an exciting journey full of hopes, dreams, and inspiration. Sasha, age 11 says "Bubba Goes National is so good I would recommend it to all my friends. It was the best book I ever read."
Math Doesn't Suck by Danica McKellar
"This book proved that math really doesn't suck," said Amber, age 12. Before reading Math Doesn't Suck, Amber had always hated math - not anymore. It's great for kids in middle school who are still trying to understand that transition between basic math and the more difficult processes. Kids will learn tips and tricks that help them solve problems faster when doing homework and taking tests. They'll also gain insight and a deeper understanding of the hows and whys - but in a language that won't bore them.
Kiss My Math by Danica McKellar
Kiss My Math does the same thing as Math Doesn't Suck, but with pre-algebra in mind. Is your pre-teen struggling with pre-algebra lingo? Confused about what exactly exponents, variables, absolute values, and other such words mean in the world of math? Your tween won't just learn the definitions. This book will explain what to do, including real-life scenarios presented in an enjoyable way.
Girls Rule: A Very Special Book Created Especially for Girls by Ashley Rice
This is a great book to encourage self-esteem and the accomplishment of goals and dreams. Every girl is special and she should know it. Ashley Rice has done a good job at creating this story in which a young girl narrates her life experiences and how she gets through them. In this inspirational tale, girls learn that they have what it takes to make all their dreams come true
The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell
The Secret of Zoom is about a young girl named Christina, who is sheltered from many things in life, as her father believes them to be dangerous. Her home consists of a mansion surrounded by an electric barbed wire fence on the outskirts of a forest. Deep within the forest is the science lab where her mother was apparently blown to pieces when Christina was just a baby. While trying to help a forbidden friend named Taft escape, they discover more than they may have ever cared to know or even suspect. This is an adventurous and engaging story that teaches kids how many things in life are not always as they seem.
Many children just love reading books naturally. However, some children do not. If your child is not feeling the love for books or you want to get a head start, try talking to other parents. Look for parents whose children always seem to be engrossed in books. Chances are, they'll have some wonderful tips. As a mother of voracious readers, I've learned several things on the way. Great ways to increase your child's love for books can come from both simple and unexpected places.
Read every day. Reading to your child every day can go a long way in instilling a love from reading. Starting this ritual while the child is still in the womb can also make the reading more familiar, which can help a child naturally enjoy reading. If you can, read with your child more than once per day. Be sure that once your child can read, you read to him once per day, but that he also reads to himself at least once per day. Both oral and visual stimulation are needed in order for a child to fully grasp the knowledge and love of reading and books.
Let your child choose the stories. There are some times when your child will have to read particular books. But be sure that your child also gets to make her own selections regularly. Children will be more receptive to reading if it isn't always about what someone else wants. It's perfectly fine if some things they choose are not exactly educational. Let them have some fun with reading too. They're more likely to learn from reading if they are interested in it.
Attend story time at the library. When kids see that others are interested in reading, it can open them up to its value. Story time can also be quite fun. Often there are activities involved in the story that your child can participate in. Story time may involve instruments, puppets, dancing, singing, stomping, shouting, and more. This helps make books more fun for your child. It also helps to provide a more rounded exposure to books.
Have a family reading circle. When reading is made into a family event, it can help create a natural love for books. This is because most kids respond to something that is done repetitively and with those they love. To create a family reading circle, gather comfortable furniture (such as pillows, bean bags, or cozy chairs) in a circle shape and choose a few books. Each person can take turns passing the book around and reading a few lines. For older children, novels that are read from a few chapters at a time are good as well.
Play reading games. Much like story time, reading games bring out the fun and imagination that comes from books. There is no right or wrong way to read a story. It can be read straight from cover to cover or it can be acted out or used as a base for a game. Teaching a child to love books does not have to be boring. Remember, you want them to know there is fun to be had. I like to invent games to play with my kids during reading, such as "Stop and Read" and "Reading Charades." Use nothing but the book, use costumes and props, and even use pre-packaged reading games.
There's no limit to the games and fun to be had while reading books. Be sure you instill that in your child through consistent action. In no time he'll have a love for books you never dreamed was possible.
Teaching kids to love books can sometimes seem hopeless. But it's actually quite simple. Start with books from the very beginning and they'll never know life without them. If you haven't done that, it's not too late to pick up the habits still applicable to take them down the path to loving books. It's never too late for teaching kids to love books. As a former nanny and current mom and homeschool teacher, I have used a variety of effective methods on a good number of children. Perhaps my experience in teaching kids to love books will help you do the same.
Start in the Womb
Talking and reading to Baby while pregnant gives a good head start on a love for reading. It may seem silly at first thought, but your baby can hear your voice and other sounds outside the womb. Go to the library and get some great books to read to your Baby while inside the womb. You can even attend storytime. Many baby stores sell special headphones with a microphone attached made especially for parents to talk to their child while in the womb. Simply place the headphones strategically on Mom's pregnant belly and speak into the microphone. I did this with all of my children. It was fun to see and feel their kicks when myself and other family members read to them.
Read to them Daily
Once a child is born, read to them daily. While they may not at first know what you are talking about, fostering a love for the written and spoken word starts with habit. By establishing a routine that includes reading books, kids will just naturally love them. Reading books together is great for bonding, enhancing imagination skills, and for relaxation modes like naptime and bedtime. Really anytime is a good time for reading books and by making that clear, you are teaching the kids to love books.
Let them See You Read
If you always insist upon the kids reading, but don't do it yourself, they may not understand the value of books. Let the kids see you with magazines and books. When it's their reading time, be sure that you read something for yourself. This may be your college textbooks, a novel, or a lifestyle or career magazine. It doesn't matter what you read, as long as they can see you also have a love for reading.
Join Library Clubs and Visit Library Often
The library is an amazing resource for helping kids love books. Of course they can check out books with their very own library card. But they can also participate in storytime, reading and educational activities, and even free reading programs. Many libraries offer a special reading program during the summer that allows kids to earn prizes and awards based on the number of books they complete. Check with your local library to see what they offer.
Stock Plenty of Books
Keeping plenty of books around is a must when establishing a love for reading. This can mean having a family collection or visiting the library often. Doing both is also a good idea. However, if you wish to be as earth-conscious as possible, utilize the library for as many books as possible. How the books are acquired is not as important as the fact that they are there.
Play Reading Games
Playing reading games helps make the thought of books and reading fun for kids. Choose a variety of activities and games to keep them interested. Reading games might use books to accompany them and some may just use reading as a basis.
More Reading Activities on Life Successfully
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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