When Graphics Improve Liking But Not Learning From Online Lessons .

Sometimes, it feels like the more you try to learn in online courses, the more your mind craves offline learning.

Ask your kids to go old school and read an old book, and you might as well have walked through a time machine and into the past. But before you start wondering if your 6-year-old is lucky to be growing up so digital, remember that books exist everywhere. They’re everywhere. You can find them on your tablet, your computer, even, you know, in a bunch of other places. Books are a great resource for learning new skills, but it’s often difficult for parents to steer kids away from the squirt gun trick.

Learn how to get kids started on books with this paperless strategy.

When kids can learn from books, they tend to appreciate them even more — including learning new skills. Younger children are especially likely to fall in love with reading. But before we start stressing that parents of tweens and teens need to start cutting the power cords from the TVs and iPads, let me give you one more reason to get outside and read.

I love games, but games aren’t for everyone. I grew up playing Monopoly, Go Fish, Pictionary and, of course, bubbles, and I still love playing those games, but they didn’t ultimately prepare me for my path as a writer. Every time I lean back into a book to play a game, my palms sweat, my heart pounds and my mind smells book.

When it comes to technology and books, I prefer to go old school — meaning, where paper and ink are involved. The reason I prefer to read with friends over gaming consoles is because we’re not constantly running from room to room in search of a keyboard, internet connection and screen time — which leaves our skin feeling cold and our nostrils running. When we read, we’re up close and personal with our printed page. When we’re typing away on our laptop, our awareness of the nooks and crannies of our computer screen increases, and we zone out and become less attentive.

But first we need to make some changes. Instead of trying to keep our kids out of screens, we should try to keep them on them — the right way. Here are some ways parents can help their children become more passionate about books by getting them started with print.

1. Start your kids off with a book.

Why not get your kids started with print when they’re old enough to be reading on their own? I like to get my oldest son the prerequisite book whenever I start a new class or reading group. A hot new recommendation can quickly turn into a nightmare when we get all of the kids in the room to each take a turn. Instead, I start with the basics — a good chapter-and-a-half story I can read to the class.

I like to read along and toss out relevant vocabulary. It’s a great way to get all of us kids started on vocabulary and style of reading. Even more helpful is when we put down the book for a time and go outside — whether that’s walking in the neighborhood, visiting a park or grabbing a coffee together with the class. Make sure to turn off your devices for at least a couple of hours so you can talk. That way, your kids can absorb the new information even better.

2. Encourage your kids to create their own books.

Another great way to encourage kids to start reading digitally is to incorporate them into the digital industry. Children are naturally drawn to the arts and craft of print, and I’ve seen it firsthand as my kids have gotten older. They enjoy printing pictures or using colorful T-shirts to make collages. My oldest is very into 3D, so I make sure to spend some time with her doing her own projects. Even if they don’t carry on those skills on their own, they can benefit from a parent’s guidance in creating a project.

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