Reading fiction has been proven more effective at reducing stress than taking a walk or listening to music. Reading lowers your heart rate while easing the tension in your muscles. In fact, the University of Sussex performed a study in 2009 that found it reduced stress up to 68%! That’s more stress relief than what you can get out of drinking a relaxing cup of hot tea or playing video games. In a world where 50% of middle school students and 56% of high school student report that their biggest obstacle to learning is depression, anxiety, or stress, making sure your student is open to spending a bit of time each day reading can be considered an essential life practice and academic priority. Here are Northgate Academy’s top 5 tips for encouraging your children to read.
Reading More Than Just Books
Your student might enjoy reading comic books, manga, or literary magazines. By allowing your young person to read whatever interests them, you open up a whole world of potential reading material. Digital or paper shouldn’t be an issue either. If they prefer to read on their tablet, as long as they are spending a few minutes reading each day, their mental health and academic progress will benefit from it.
Use Audio Books
If you can get your child interested in listening to audio books, you’ll find quite a few benefits in that. Hesitant or struggling readers benefit especially from audio books. They can learn fluency, get hooked on a series, and grow more comfortable with paying attention to a longer storyline. Audio books are a wonderful way to introduce reading to a young person who’s less enthusiastic about reading. You can certainly encourage them to read along with the audio book, too, and that will help their reading skills improve as well.
Make It Part Of Your Schedule
Keeping to a schedule can be difficult, but routine has its benefits, too. If you want to encourage a love of reading, then building the habit has to become a priority for you as a family. Taking a half hour to sit quietly and read together as part of your family’s routine will give you something to talk about at the dinner table, and demonstrate to your children that you are making reading a priority, too.
Almost every streaming service offers series that are originally based on books. You can approach this in a couple of ways. Either encourage your teen to try the book version of a show they’re enjoying, or get them hooked on the book based on the popularity of the show. Of course, it’s essential that you check to make sure any show or book is appropriate for your teen since what is acceptable to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime might not match with the moral standards you’ve established within your family. Although we’ve got some examples of shows that have been adapted from books, these are only examples, and we recommend you investigate the content of each of them before recommending them for your teens.
The long running show Bones streaming on Hulu is based on the Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs, and award winning author John Green’s popular young adult novel Looking for Alaska was turned into a series by Hulu. If you’re looking for classic reading, Jane Austen’s Emma can be streamed through Amazon Prime Video and Paramount, while multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice can be streamed through both Prime and Hulu. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott offers many different versions that you could stream through Amazon Prime Video, and Prime also offers The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series based off J.R.R. Tolkien’s books along with The Rings of Power television series as a spinoff of the novels. Netflix offers a series remaking of the young adult books from the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology as well as a retelling of the young adult novel 13 Reasons Why.
Be A Reader Yourself.
Take the time to read, too. Making reading part of your routine has to include you in the equation. You can show your kids that reading is a priority to you by teaching them how to pick out books and by talking about what you like. Be realistic about it. Tell them how long you wait before you are either invested in or give up on a book. Show them how to use the library or how to use a digital library, and don’t forget to talk about what you’re reading. Your kids need to hear that you’re excited by reading, too.
About Northgate Academy
If you’re not already a student at Northgate Academy but are interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student or as a resource for homeschool coursework, you can check out our programs online. Every full time student at NGA is assigned an Academic Success Coach, can email their instructors with questions, can reach out to staff through online chat and text, and has access to one-on-one tutoring through Train The Brain.
Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.