One goal all teachers have is to get students to read at home. Reading at home outside of school has so many benefits like fostering a love for reading in children, developing language and reading skills, and stimulates the imagination. One of the many challenges of teaching this year will be how to encourage reading at home while distance learning.
Students participating in virtual learning are already doing all of their school work from home, so they may not want to do more “school work” when the virtual day is over (which I totally get!). Let’s find some creative ways to motivate and encourage students to read at home while distance learning.
1. Share your favorite apps and websites with parents and students.
Connect families with your favorite apps and websites they can use at home to encourage reading at home during distance learning. Consider sharing both apps and websites that work on all types of devices. My favorites are:
- Epic (free for teachers)
- Reading A to Z (year-long subscription)
- Storyline Online (free)
You can find my favorite apps for literacy stations on my blog HERE.
2. Use Loom to record yourself reading class favorites.
Use Loom to record yourself reading your students’ favorite books for them to watch at home. Kids love seeing familiar faces read to them! (Just be sure you have legal rights from publishers to record and send videos reading books.)
3. Send home a reading log.
Another way to encourage students to read at home during distance learning is to send home a reading log. You can ask students to read a certain number of books or for a certain number of minutes per day and record it for accountability. Then, they can turn it in at the end of the month for you to check.
You can get creative with this reading log and offer rewards or incentives for filling it out and turning it in.
4. Find creative ways to get physical books into students’ hands.
While digital books are so useful and helpful for distance learning, there’s something special about reading from physical books. On my blog, I shared a few ways you could try to get books into students’ hands to read. Depending on how your school is running during distance learning, there might be a few ideas you can implement for your students. Check them out HERE.
5. Create a reading challenge for students.
My little readers always loved a good challenge! That’s why I created my summer reading challenge – to motivate them to read over the summer. You could create a monthly reading challenge that encourages students to read different types of books with new people and in fun places.
6. Make a reading BINGO card.
Create a simple weekly or monthly 5×5 BINGO card with reading activities for students to do at home. The spaces can be filled with activities that are similar to the reading challenge calendar. Just switching things up from a calendar to a BINGO card creates excitement, even if the activities overlap!
Ask students to fill a row up each week or month and then turn it in. You could encourage students to write a sentence or two about each book as well.
You can also grab a Reading Bingo Challenge card here free!
7. Equip parents with reading strategies to help their children with reading at home during distance learning.
Many parents want to help their children make progress in reading, but aren’t quite sure how to. One way to equip them is to share reading strategies their children are working on at school. In my TpT store, you can grab free strategy posters for parents to use at home. They can print them out and display or save them as a pdf to use during reading time.
8. Share reading tips with parents to help foster a love for reading.
Additionally, you can share tips with parents on how to make reading fun at home. You can use my FREE handout to give to parents so they can see how easy it is to cultivate a love for reading. They can keep it handy for reading at home with their children.
One thing we know for sure is that not all kids are born loving to read. Some struggle and never find a love of books while others walk around with their nose in a book. In the classroom, it’s easy to see where kids are on this spectrum and guide them. Sometimes they just need a little bit of encouragement! These 8 tips for reading at home while distance learning are sure to help nudge them toward a love of books!
Reading at Home Kit for Distance Learning
I think the theme for this year is that anything is possible! We have to plan for the unexpected. If you have students learning in person in the classroom, you might unexpectedly find them learning from home. To help make this transition easier, or if you have students doing virtual learning already and want to provide parents support, check out the Guided Reading at Home Kits.
Each leveled kit for guided reading levels E through J has everything parents would need to reinforce learning at home. Each kit includes:
- 4 books- printable format or digital format (printable in color and black and white)
- lesson guides
- mini-teaching posters
- sight word and vocabulary cards
- word work activities
- fluency strips
You’ll be able to easily equip parents to continue to support their students in reading. These reading kits are parent-friendly, easily organized, and research-based.
Head to over and grab your bundle to save! You can also purchase each level E-J individually there.