Books, Reading

New Year’s Resolutions: Starting a Reading Habit

What? It’s too early to talk New Year’s resolutions, you say? Well, just in case you’ve finished all your Christmas shopping, decorated your tree, and baked


cookies, I have found something for you to do. Grab a copy of Emma Walton Hamilton’s Raising Bookworms and consider starting a reading habit with your child in the new year.

Walton’s book provides some wonderful “how to’s” for raising children with a love for reading. She organizes the book around children’s ages and stages, from toddlers to middle school and beyond. Each chapter is chock full of tips and tricks, as well as her book list of “family favorites” for each age. She also includes a section of frequently asked questions and an introduction with arguments for why reading is important. A wonderful supplement for this book would be Vivian Kirkfield’s Show Me How!, which provides craft and cooking tie-ins for many beloved children’s books.

At our house reading has long been a part of our nightly routine. Each boy gets three books before bed. Sometimes a section of the LEGO catalog substitutes for one of the books, but as Hamilton says, you need to think broadly about what counts as reading. For my kindergartener, I read him two books, and he reads me one. Or he reads me a chapter from a chapter book. After that, he gets to stay up an extra half hour to read in his bed. This is a privilege he is pretty excited about.

We’ve always visited the library A LOT. And the boys are never surprised to come home to a stack of books from the library used book sale or a couple of Scholastic Book Order paperbacks. These are two inexpensive ways to build your library if you are just starting out.

I am sure many of you already have an established reading routine with your children. But, if you don’t, Raising Bookworms can help you start one. A big thanks to Beth Stilborn (the birthday girl) for introducing me to this wonderful book.

16 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions: Starting a Reading Habit”

  1. Breat post on a wonderful and valuable book, Kirsten, but mostly I am completely floored by that amazing word at the top!!! How on earth did you do that? I will definitely be needing the secret 🙂 Thank you so very much for joining in this wacky birthday scheme! 🙂

    1. Susanna, I have some scrapbooking software called My Memories Suite. I don’t use it as much for photo books anymore, but I do use it for invites, making fancy photos, etc. It’s fairly inexpensive and easy to use. Hopefully you know who found our clue.

  2. When I saw what you were doing with your post, I said out loud, “Ohhhhhh, PERFECT!” Thank you, Kirsten, for choosing today to review Emma’s book, and thank you for participating in you-know-what! This is so much fun!

  3. I was literally trying to find a new series for our children to read just last evening. I’m going to share this one with wife. Kristen, any suggestions on a series for a 6 year old boy and a separate one for a 4 year old girl? We’ve got the Jack & Annie series and it’s time for something new. Thx!

    1. Paul, check out Erik’s blog here:
      He has recommendations for ages 6-9. We are doing Magic Treehouse right now, but honestly, Cooper would rather read nonfiction. He likes the Penguin Young Readers Group Level 4 nonfiction. Finley (age 4) is not much into series yet. I’ve heard good things about Ivy & Bean for the younger set. There is also Young Cam Jansen from Penguin.

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