10 Ways to Encourage Reading in Your Child
Does the idea of encouraging your child to read seem daunting? Don’t worry, you are among millions of parents who find it a bit tough to encourage their child to read. Reading is important for children of all ages. It’s healthy for the brain and they can learn so much! I have a few tips to help you to encourage your child to read.
2. Beyond Books: Studies have shown that reading material comes in a variety of different ways. Some more accessible than others. Whether we like it or not, video games, magazine, and cartoon/comic books are great ways for your kids to practice reading. Some other ways sneak in reading include board games with written cards or instructions, getting a pen pal, or even putting on the closed captioning on the TV. You can even have your kid read you the grocery list and leave notes around the house for your child to find.
3. Make it Fun for Everyone: If you want to get through to your kids about reading, it’s pretty clear that you need to make it fun! When you read with your kids, have them interact with you and the book by asking questions and having them read parts for you. You can even make some games or activities for when you and your child are done reading it. For example, one grandmother had her grandson help her in the garden and had him spell out words with a muddy stick. Once he was done spelling it, they would sound it out together and start a new word.
4. Celebrate Their Achievements: One method that is proven to be motivating is having your child keep some sort of chart of achievement. A graph or chart that keeps track of how many books your kid has read gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. You can make a chart according to a theme that they like (Buzz Lightyear or Monster High). Once they reach a goal, give them something to celebrate their achievement. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Things like a toy from the dollar store or thrift store will do. Just let your child know how proud you are of them.
5. Reading is a Choice, Not a Chore: If your child reads, it should be because they want to. Just keep a variety of different kinds of books or magazine available to them so they can choose. Just be sure to let your child’s interests help them choose. You can make suggestions, but don’t force them or your child will lose interest all together. Let them broaden their horizons with their own interests in books, just be there for them when they get discouraged.
6. Discussion: When the story is done, that doesn’t mean the reading has to stop. Discuss the book with your child and pick out different parts to talk about. If they have an author they love, aid your child in writing a letter to them if possible.
7. Time is of the Essence: No matter what, if there isn’t any time then your child won’t read. Make time out of the busy day and use it only for reading. By putting your busy life aside for 20 minutes a day, you and your child benefit because it gives you a chance to deflate for that time and all you child wants from you is time to be with you.
8. Set an Example: If you let your child see you reading because you want to, it may give them motivation to do the same. It will encourage!
9. Older Siblings are Awesome Examples: Encourage your older children to read to their younger siblings. Older siblings love showing off to their audience and it will also encourage the younger ones to read as well.
10. Visit the Library: Take your kids to the library on a regular basis. Explore their favourite sections of the library with them. You can ask a librarian for suggestions, that’s what they are there for.