Reading Mystery Stories Can Also Teach Important Reading Skills

Reading Mystery Stories Can Also Teach Important Reading Skills

A good mystery story can keep you spellbound for a long time.  You do not want to put the book down until the mystery is solved and you know who has done it.  You read and try to pick out all the clues.  You try your best to figure out the ending.  Did you get it right after all?  If not, what clues did you miss? Children love mystery stories as much as adults...

Read More

Creating Comfortable Space for Your Children to Enjoy Reading

Creating Comfortable Space for Your Children to Enjoy Reading

Having a plethora of books available at home is one way to encourage your children to read.  Another important way is to have a comfortable space in or around the home where your children can enjoy that quiet reading time.  If the space is there, they will certainly take advantage of it.

Read More

Children Playing Video Games – The Pros & Cons

I’m certain that many parents purchased or friends and relatives purchased video games for their children or other young relatives as gifts this past Christmas.  As the mother of two sons, I know well the desires that children have to play video games, especially boys.   

Many parents ask – can playing too many video games really hurt my child?  According to developmental psychologist Douglas Gentile, the answer to that question is “Yes”.  He gives the following reasons why:

  • Kids who spend too much time at the computer are missing out on other activities fundamental to their physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Time spent in front of the computer or game console is time taken away from playing with friends, reading or doing a project with you, and other activities.
  • Kids usually play video games alone, and too much time spent alone can foster social isolation.
  • Children who watch more than ten hours of TV a week don't do as well in school as kids their age who watch less. When setting limits, it's important to consider the total amount of time your child spends in front of all electronic screens — TVs, computers, movie screens, etc.
  • Bad habits can become ingrained and are more difficult to change as children get older. (According to research, the average American 4th-grade boy spends 9.5 hours each week playing video and computer games, in addition to other screen time.)
  • If your child regularly plays games with plots based on violence and aggression, research shows he is at risk for increased aggressive behavior.

There are pros to video games, though.  He recommends quality games that give children the opportunity to practice problem solving and logic skills. They help the development of fine motor and coordination skills and also help children become familiar with information technology.  He strongly suggests playing these games with your children as special bonding time. 

Some Suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions to Promote Reading

Happy new year!  Yes, it’s 2016 and I have some suggestions for new year’s resolutions to help promote reading in your family.  

#1 – Plan weekend family outings to your local library.  I cannot mention enough about the wealth of information and books that are available in public libraries.  Search the internet to find out what your library has to offer on the weekends for children and attend the events.  Above all, check out books and other material for your children to read, at no cost!

#2 – Have a variety of reading materials available at home.  Don’t let your children get bored with what reading materials you have.  In addition to fiction, have biographies, comic books, audible books, and books in other formats (on your Kindle or iPad).  

#3 – Intentionally set aside time each day to read.  That will take discipline on your part.  One of the best times to read is when you are putting your child to bed at night, or after dinner is finished.  Don’t wait until you are totally exhausted and sleepy to do this.  Plan time for reading in your schedule as you would any other important event.  Remember – your child is worth it!

#4 – Limit the video and computer games.  Children can sit in front of a screen (whether a large computer screen or the small screen on your mobile phone) playing games endlessly.  Many parents use these games as babysitters.  Instead of just having your child play these games, try downloading some good books and have your child read them.  That way, they will sit quietly and develop good reading habits at the same time.

Of course, there are many more suggestions that I can make.  But, let’s start with these in 2016.  You will be taking a huge step by making and following through with these resolutions. 

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt