How We Encourage Our 7 Year Old to Read Then and Now

I had this original post ready to go live the week that Covid-19 took America by storm.  I didn’t post it.  I reclused and observed all forms of social media but did not contribute to it.  I watched and observed.  Now on Thursday, March 19th, 2020 I realize how irrelevant this original post is for American readers where we are social distancing and can’t go to the library, go to Goodwill, or spend any extra expenses on single books from Book Outlet.

So let me post a new version of this idea with a then and now.

This is how I encourage my 7 year old to read now and hopefully my past written post can become a Then post for the after of this Pandemic and our forced social distancing.  What will America and the world look like then and now?  I don’t know, but I think this will be a good thing to look back on.  This is a historic global event.  Simple things like this are records of history in the making as small and simple as this post may seem.


  1.  Lead by example: we are all in the house all the time.  If I want my kids to read, I should be seen reading too.
  2. Digital and physical books.
    1. Physical Books: Take inventory of what you have on hand to read.  Prioritize and encourage.
    2. Digital Books: Digital book resources are a great way to help support self-published authors.  Look at Kindle resources, Look at online library Resources. Free resources or subscription resources that can spread across the family.  This is also a great way to help put some money in the pockets in the industry of self-published authors.
  3. Audiobooks:  Encourage story time without screen time during art and play time. Seriously.  Scribd is a great monthly subscription that has access to tons of books for adults to children both as ebooks and audiobooks.  They also offer a family subscription plan so the entire family can use the resource for $8.99.  Your money can go really far here if you feel like Kindle and your library aren’t providing the titles you are looking for or are not available because everyone is trying to access the same resource at once.
  4. Comic Books.  Comic Books or graphic novels are a great artistic outlet and could be a bridge between your child who is frustrated with reading.  My child loves Comic Books, they provide a lot of humor and she loves the art included in graphic novels.  Her favorites are DC Super Hero Girls and My Little Pony Comic Series.
  5. Book Outlet was still shipping when I posted this and is a great great great! Children’s book resource for a fraction of what Amazon sells them for.  They are located in New York and if that bothers you, my advice is quarantine your package upon arrival for a day or two before opening.  I am not a scientist…but if that worries you that is my suggestion.
  6. Support online bloggers who make money from offering you free academic content.  Every view on their page and ad you click and engagement you make on  “mommy blogs” “homeschool blogs” ANY WEBSITE LIKE MINE puts money in people’s pockets trying to make a living off the internet.  This is so important.
  7. Pinterest – Look up content that engages a story you might want to read together as a family and make it fun.




The Power of a Library Card

My 7 year old is quickly becoming quite the reader.  This is something that she prides herself in: how well she can read, how fast she can read, what she can read.  Reading is becoming a major part of her identity and where she is finding a lot of self worth.  This is amazing to see, and something that I can relate to a lot as her mother and having found a lot of worth in reading as a child.

When I asked her first grade teacher how I can best help her continue to grow in her reading journey at home, her teacher replied both in August and earlier this February with the same answer:


Ok then, let’s make reading even more fun.  Here is how we are trying to continue to water her growth in reading:

  1. Encourage her to read
  2. Reward her with new books.  
  3. Create new experiences with books

Birthday and Christmas Presents: she received new books, both for fun and for academic purposes.  She loves science and especially biology so we got her simple science books from Dollar Tree that she can continue to read more and more of as she can read bigger and harder words and concepts.   

Scholastic Order Forms:  We placed an order for her this year to help her classroom get new books as well as for her to experience receiving books from her order form that is sent home.  I don’t do this all the time, but it is more for the experience for her.

Goodwill:  I love bargain hunting and picking up books for her at Goodwill that are in good to great condition.  If they don’t seem to peak her interest, they get saved for later or donated again back to Goodwill or in another form of donation for another child.

Book Outlet:  She sees me order my own books from Book Outlet so we decided to order her her own box of books from Book Outlet that were at her current reading level and her next reading level and the next one after that. This is to reward her now and let her know as she continues to do better at reading she has fun books waiting for her when she is ready.

Library:  We took her to go get very own library card to check out and be responsible for her own books that need to taken care of and returned and exchanged for new ones.  This was a huge big girl moment for her.

Types of Books:

We do not shy away from comic books, we do not pressure her into chapter books.  We allow her to find fun in a wide range of books.  She enjoys both fiction and non-fiction, both simple and hard, both comic books and instructional how to learn to do this books.

Most Important – We encourage her to read to us and we show her that we too like and enjoy reading.  

We practice what we preach and live by example of what we are encouraging her to do .

Look, I am not perfect.  I read on my e-reader sometimes too much and forget to pick up a physical book more often but I am trying to get back into the habit of physical books.

Also, we enjoy audio books at our house.  It is ok to encourage your child to listen and enjoy the books in multiple forms.

The biggest lesson we have learned in 1st grade is to encourage and make learning fun and so far these have been really successful ways for us to do that.


What are your thoughts?   Please provide further suggestions in the comments below and I can make an updated post in the future with your added ideas and suggestions!


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