My answer is always the same: read. Luckily, I have kids that would eat books if they could. But what about struggling readers who see reading as “work” and would rather die than read (this is a direct quote from a former student). One answer for those kids is audio books. There are many premium streaming services for audio books like Tales2Go and Audible. But you can also check with your local library to see if they offer free audiobook services online. For example, the Portland Public Library offers its cardholders access to ebooks and audiobooks in both their regular and children’s collections. Anyone living in York, Cumberland, and particular sections of Oxford County are eligible for a Portland Public Library card.
When children consistently listen to expert readers, they benefit in terms of vocabulary development, comprehension and expression. Audio books also open the door to texts that are above their reading level. Listening to reading is a great way to level the playing field, to motivate struggling readers and to share reading among the whole family. In our house, the kids listen to stories while they draw, while they do chores and at bedtime. Add a cheap auxiliary cable and every errand or car trip to grandma’s becomes an opportunity for families to listen and talk about books.