I am a reader, raising readers, and I want to help you raise your own! Now, one of the most common questions I get (besides, how to teach my kid to read which you can read about here), is how to GET my child to love reading. We all want to encourage reading at home. We all want that joy to spark! How do you help encourage that ember to grow?
Three Ways to Encourage Reading at Home:
- Let your child pick out the book with no feedback from you!! A great place to practice this is at the library – give your child free rein on those free books. Or, if ready to purchase, let them look at our catalog. Give them the chance to figure out what they like and don’t like on their own with NO JUDGMENT. Let them read and reread to their heart’s content. Let them choose books below or above their reading level. (I’ll save the bigger soapbox for later but if you think the material is too mature, I promise you it’s better for them to first experience that mature subject AT HOME in a BOOK vs outside of the home, in real life, without your support/guidance.)P.s. I know the no judgment may be the 2nd hardest part. This stems from a faulty sense of certain books not being worthy. Graphic novels are often seen as “not real reading.” I can assure you that graphic novels, yes even that Dog Man, are valid and valuable. If your kid loves graphic novels and you want to steer them toward “higher brow” take a look at our graphic classic novels.
- Read books in front of your kid. Too often we read only at night or during times without the kid distractions and that means your child isn’t SEEING you and therefore can’t MODEL you. Model the behavior you want – e.g., let them see you choose a book over the TV if you want them to choose a book over TV.
- Read together and often. In my family, we read together every night. For my youngest, he chooses 2 books before bed. For my oldest, I sit with her and we read together, sometimes aloud, sometimes quietly with our own respective books, but it’s a dedicated quiet time spent together. When it’s nice out, we sit outside together and have “reading time.” I’ve seen people make it a daily routine for tea – sit at the table with a tea set and read a picture book or a chapter out of a novel. Pack a book in your bag for long waits at appointments. Bring a book to the restaurant. Increase your exposure to reading books to increase the chances of falling in love with THE book.
That’s it! Those are three ways you can encourage reading at home! They’re small steps, but effective!!
Are you currently struggling with reading, you aren’t alone. Literacy rates in this country are sad to read in black and white! But YOU as the parent have the power to shift everything around. Making sure reading is an enjoyable enterprise will go a long way towards creating a lifelong love of reading.
If you regularly do step 2, what are you currently reading? Drop me a recommendation in the comments!