Ready or not, here come the preteen years! There are some major life and developmental changes ahead during Club Phoenix. While your child is finding their sense of self and adapting to new changes every day, books can be a comforting anchor.
Although you and your not-so-little one don’t have to give up your cherished read-alouds or pack away their favorite picture books forever, they should be confidently reading chapter books on their own by now. A whole new world of exciting genres, engaging characters, and educational gems await!
What Can Books Bring Out in Your Phoenix?
—Advanced Vocabulary & Literacy
At this stage, your child should be able to confidently pronounce most common words—and they may even surprise you with new words daily! The more they read chapter books (and all the written material around them), the more their vocabulary will increase, and the better they’ll fare when it comes time for testing. Thanks to regular reading, your baby Einstein is on their way to becoming a brainy preteen!
Increased independence also means that your kid’s social circles are ever-expanding. (Sleepovers, here you come!) As the narratives they read begin to mature, they’ll encounter complex character relationships that they can use to better understand real-world social situations. Reading helps foster empathy in younger readers, and as your preteen builds upon that foundation, they’ll also learn the words to express those complex emotions.
Reading skills and writing skills go hand in hand: the more an adolescent reads, the more their writing skills improve. As kids begin to learn more about narrative structure through reading, they have better instincts when it comes time to write their own stories, poems, and essays in school. They’ll also be able to revise and edit. Books are a fun way to learn about sentence structure and grammar, and the more they read, the more natural these rules will feel.
It’s a big shift into middle school. And considering the fact that 85 percent of all studies after the third grade are taught by reading, a strong reading foundation is essential for their academic success. Books really are magic!
—Foundation for Success
Reading is fundamental for a good life! Not only do strong readers have an easier time with academics, but they also go on to land higher-paying jobs, become more engaged citizens, and are more likely to achieve their goals.
Tips on Reading with Your Phoenix
As homework and after school activities start to pile up and the teen years inch closer and closer, you might have to dole out extra encouragement for reading time. But don’t worry—this time doesn’t have to be a struggle. Tune in to your kid’s interests and help them choose books that are a natural fit.
Here are a few tips on making sure your rising star keeps those pages turning.
- Encourage them to find new favorites. While those on the younger end might want to thumb through their early readers now and then, try to provide gentle encouragement for them to explore new worlds. Maybe a road trip is the perfect excuse to help them download their first audiobook. Or maybe you can help them research the current list of middle grade bestsellers. Make reading milestones exciting, not intimidating.
- Read series. One of the most effective ways to help children become lifelong readers is to connect them with the right book series. Do they want an adventure series about talking cats? Done! Do they want to read Harry Potter because they heard about it at the lunch table? Why not! Maybe they’re solidly in their princess phase and want to read about history’s most famous royals? There’s a series for that, too! There’s a book for every kid, no matter what they’re into at the moment.
- Give them more control. We get it. It’s hard to admit that your baby is growing up! You don’t have to give up your reading rituals, but do make room for them to form independent reading habits. Help them choose their own books during regular trips to your local library or bookstore.
- Offer reading rewards. At this age, there are more and more activities jockeying for your kid’s attention. Reading might be a hard sell when they’re also starting to get into sports, video games, and TV. Try offering up some small rewards (ice cream outings, a new toy) in exchange for hours or pages read.
- Get active! More active kids or kids who struggle with their attention spans may find it hard to have marathon reading sessions. Activity books to the rescue! Phoenix boxes will include plenty of fun books in the mix, which is a great way to spice up their reading routines.
- Be engaged. Just because you aren’t reading every book together these days, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. If they get into a series, ask them for a recap and a review after each installment. Are they getting into a popular author? Attend a signing at your local bookstore or library.
Phoenix is the age where your reader will truly take flight. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to know that they’ll likely carry this love of reading for the rest of their lives.
Ready to Read?
Discover our best selections for ages 9-12 in Club Phoenix today.