Friday, February 18, 2011

Instilling A Love of Reading in Your Child

All parents, whether homeschoolers or not, want to raise kids who love to read. There are all kinds of theories on how to accomplish this, from exposing kid's to books frequently throughout early childhood, to reading aloud great books to your kids, to avoiding twaddle and focusing on rich, living books, to putting off formal reading instruction until the child is 6 or 7 (or even older!). But the fact of the matter is, like in all things parenting-related, sometimes you end up with a kid who loves reading, and sometimes you end up with a reluctant reader. It seems to me that there isn't much rhyme or reason to it; you either have a kid who loves books, or you have one who...doesn't.

For those of you who have a child who is reluctant to read, read on (no pun intended), because I am about to present to you a product that is designed specifically with your reluctant reader in mind, a product that can be used in the home or at school, a product that does it's very best to make reading fun, interesting and engaging, in order to draw your reluctant reader in.

For those of you, who, like me, have a child who LOVES reading, read on, they WILL love this product. Mine did.

And for those of you who after reading this review, who would love to buy The Reluctant Reader Solution, but can't right now, stick around, because the makers of The Reluctant Reader Solution have a great website, packed with free activities to engage your reader, as well as an option to sign up for 30 day's worth of tips on making reading fun for your child.

Let's start with The Reluctant Reader Solution. The Reluctant Reader Solution has two parts included in the purchase, both of which are available to you electronically; one as a pdf file which you will save to your computer, and one that you have special access to online.
Part 1: The pdf file. When you purchase The Reluctant Reader Solution, you will receive an email from it's makers, Kid Scoop, with a link to download a gigantic e-book. This e-book contains 365 worksheets on various topics. Topics range from holidays and habitats, to sports and animals, you name it, there is probably a related worksheet in this file. You can use these worksheets in a variety of ways. You could use them by topic, or you can work through them chronologically with your child, printing a worksheet a day. Used this way, the topics would correspond to the various holidays and seasons throughout the year.
Part 2: Access to the Kid Scoop online newspaper for kids! The Kid Scoop online newspaper is a monthly online newspaper that is interactive in nature. It's pretty versatile in its' functions--your child can browse it in full screen mode on the computer screen, using the arrow keys or mouse to "turn" the pages. If they don't read that well yet, it does have a listening option, however, I found the audio to be too computerized for my liking. Children can search the contents of the newspaper for keywords, save single pages or the entire publication to the computer, or print out hard copies in order to use it for pencil and paper work. Children also have access to "back-issues of the magazine. With the purchase of The Reluctant Reader Solution, your child will have access to the magazine for 12 months.

The Kid Scoop newspaper is fairly topical in nature. Each issue has a bit of a theme related to the month that it comes out in (winter themes in December, Halloween theme in October, etc). The pages are filled with interesting short articles, games, mazes, crossword puzzles, jokes and riddles, drawing tutorials and the like. The pages are very brightly colored and enticing for the child. I love the fact that you can download the entire issue and print what you want when you want. Though I have always thought it extra special to receive a newspaper or magazine in the mail, my kids didn't seem to exhibit any less joy when getting a special newspaper straight from our printer!
Little Bean was at the perfect reading level for this product. I did not see a specific age listed on their website, but given that this product is geared toward reluctant readers, my opinion is that it is valuable for most children who are struggling with reading from 2nd grade on up through 6th. My little guy is only 5, however, his reading level is well past a 2nd grade level, and he had no problem reading this magazine. There were even a few activities that Miss O could enjoy in the magazine, but not many. However, she loved that she was able to be included in this review, which doesn't happen often.

The Reluctant Reader Solution is selling for $97. I'll be honest and just say that when I saw that price, I was a little bit surprised. It does seem a tad steep, especially since you are not receiving a physical product (no magazine in the mail here) and you do have to consider how much printer ink and paper will cost when you are doing so much printing. My caveat to that is that although it does seem a bit pricey, Kid Scoop offers a 365-day money back guarantee. They put it this way: "Try out the Reluctant Reader Solution in your home or classroom. Put it to use with the reluctant reader in your life. If you don't get measurable results — meaning if your child doesn't start enjoying reading more, and actually start reading on his own — I'll refund every cent of your investment with no questions whatsoever". That's a pretty good guarantee!

I feel really blessed that I have two kids who really enjoy books, and seek them out daily. Growing up, I loved reading, and am happy my kids seem to love it too. But if I did have a child who by upper elementary still really disliked reading, I may consider trying something like this with them because it is presented in a very fun and light-hearted way that makes it enticing for the child. In that case, the payout may be worth the results of having a child who becomes more interested in reading.

For those who really can't afford The Reluctant Reader Solution at this time, be sure to stop by the Kid Scoop website. It is very well done, and I can tell how much this company WANTS kids to enjoy reading. There are tons of little things for the kids to do on there. In the "Kids" section, you can read some jokes, look up kid recipes, learn to draw various animals, play games and much more. In the "Parents" section, you can get tips on things like dinner conversation starters, birthday party planning tips, you can download a 2011 yearly planner, or sign up for a monthly newsletter. Also on their website you can sign up for daily emails that have tips on making reading fun. I personally signed up for this free service, and have seen a lot of great ideas come through my inbox already.

Kid Scoop also sells downloadable activity packs and e-books, which you can purchase here

Note: I was given this product for free in exchange for my honest review. I am not obligated to give a positive review, and all opinions are mine.

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