10 Ways To Help Your Child LOVE Reading
You know reading is important and you want your child to love it, but how can you make that happen?
With many academic and life skills hinging on literacy, it’s easy to send the message that reading is something to stress over. Choose some of these tips to build your child’s love for reading and watch the magic happen!
1. Start reading to them in infancy
Reading to your children is perhaps the most important way to instill a love of reading. The earlier you start, the earlier your child will develop an interest in books, promoting skills that result in future literacy and academic success.
2. Create a reading nook
Having a special place to read may encourage your child to curl up with a book. Select a window seat, comfortable chair, or corner and let your child choose throw pillows and blankets to make an inviting space. Add a small bookshelf or stack of books and watch your child get excited to read!
3. Get a library card
There’s something magical about going to the library and finding infinite book choices. The library may be the best place to make sure your child finds the books and genres that will encourage a lifelong love of reading. Troup County has wonderful libraries in LaGrange and Hogansville, with story times and other programs to encourage reading and learning in community. Find information and a schedule of activities at www.thrl.org.
4. Don’t pressure your child
Be careful not to pressure your child to read. Making reading feel like work or an obligation will not foster a true love of reading. Instead, spend time reading to your kids and use other tips to make reading fun. Remember, the goal isn’t to make your children read, but to help them love to read!
5. Make reading into play time
Encourage your child to play “teacher” by reading aloud to you, stuffed animals, siblings, and even pets. Incorporating imagination and play is a sure way to make reading fun!
6. Keep reading to them even once they can read
Reading can require a lot of effort for little ones, and sometimes they need to relax and absorb a book without working so hard. Read books above their reading level to inspire curiosity and a desire to become better readers.
7. Read the book before seeing the movie
Research child-appropriate movies to discover which ones are based on books. Make plans with your children to read the book together before you head to the theater or have a home movie night. Initiate conversations comparing the movie to the book (did the movie characters match how your child imagined them? What parts of the story were changed in the movie?). These conversations promote comprehension skills and build an interest in reading!
8. Set goals and help your child meet them
Help your child complete school reading criteria and summer reading programs by setting goals and creating a reading schedule. Participate in the reading schedule, either reading to your child or having them read to you. You don’t want this to feel like work, so make reading time a fun bonding experience. Make a special occasion when your child meets a goal; allow them to choose a reward and be sure to show your excitement for their hard work!
9. Expose them to many types of books
No one becomes a lifelong reader if they are forced to read only books that someone else chose. Take your children to the library or bookstore and let their interests guide book selection. Ask your children what they like best about their favorite books, what types of characters they love, and what kinds of things they want to learn about. Allowing them the freedom to choose from a wide variety of books ensures that they will find the books that foster a love of reading.
10. Teach by example
Telling your children that reading is important will be a hard sell if they never see you read. Schedule frequent family quiet time, when the television is off, and everyone is reading. Model a love of books for your children and discuss what you read. If you don’t already love reading, you and your child can learn to love it together!
Use these tips and create strategies of your own to build a family who loves to read!