TWENTY (YES TWENTY!) WAYS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO READ
Children's Learning Adventure
Jan 02, 2020
Twenty (Yes Twenty!) Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
Help Make Your Child a Lifelong Reader
Reading is a skill that is critical to success in almost every subject, including math and the sciences. And studies in both the U.S. and Australia have shown that reading to your children early and often will increase the level of education they eventually receive. That benefit can be up to three or four more years beyond the norm.
Reading has many other benefits beyond academics. It can be a great stress reliever, and it also teaches children focus and concentration. Reading also helps your child make sense of the world and exposes them to new places, new ideas and new people.
While it is true that not every child will become a bookworm, there is a lot you can do to encourage your child to read. However, you first have to make reading fun. Here are twenty tips that can help make reading an enjoyable experience for your child and help them become lifelong readers.
- Read to Your Children- It seems obvious but when you read to your child, they start to associate reading with positive feelings and happy times spent with a parent. Reading will become a habit for them.
- It’s Never Too Early to Read– Babies may not be able to follow along with the pictures or the story, but they love the sound of your voice and will respond to the emotion in both your voice and your face. It’s a great way to spend time with your baby, and they’ll learn language and other skills.
- Talk it Out – Ask your toddler to pick out pictures and colours. Ask them to predict what comes next. Engage your children in what they are reading, and they’ll be engaged in reading for life.
- Read EVERYTHING – Encourage your child to read road signs, maps and menus. Allow them to look things up for you and give you the answer.
- Leverage technology – Put books on your e-readers or iPads. Use the engagement factor of technology to enhance the reading experience. Try audio books or electronic read aloud apps.
- Choose age-appropriate reading – Challenging your child too much can turn them off reading but not enough challenge and they’ll quickly become bored. Find the sweet spot but be prepared to continually adjust it as they grow more proficient in reading.
- Empower Your Child – Allow your child to pick the kind of books they enjoy. It’s fine to make suggestions and to lead your child but allowing them choice and control will be far more likely to encourage them to become lifelong readers.
- Read Aloud – You can start reading aloud to your child when he is an infant, but continue reading aloud long after his is able to read for himself. Try a current bestseller or series and make reading it aloud together part of your nightly routine.
- Make connections – Try to relate books to real-life or make connections between books and your child’s own life. They will understand more but also be more engaged in reading.
- Try Something New - Switch things up occasionally. While they may love the familiar, children do get bored. A new author or a new genre can reinvigorate a reluctant or uninterested reader.
- Be a reader – Modeling behaviours are the best way to get children to copy them. That includes reading. Let your child “catch” you reading as often as possible.
- Create a Reading Nook – Creating a special reading spot with comfy chairs, big pillows and yes, bookshelves filled with their favorites.
- Visit a Library – Make special trips to the library with your children. Give them time to explore, find and read the books they’re interested in.
- Buy Books – There is something truly special in owning your own book, especially for children. Ownership can be empowering, and children living in households with numerous books tend to outperform other children academically.
- Pictures Tell a Thousand Words – If your child balks at novels, comic books and graphic novels might hook her. Images can serve to engage some reluctant or struggling children in reading.
- Bring a Book, not a Gadget – If you have to run errands or take your child to the dentist or doctor, bring along a book for entertainment instead of an electronic device. Keep special books in the car for longer trips.
- Give Books as Gifts – Make books, and reading, special by giving your children books as gifts for birthdays and holidays. Turn book giving into a family tradition as the first present they open.
- Use humour – Many reluctant readers have become avid readers after being hooked by a humorous book. An author that can make your child laugh will have her coming back for more.
- Sing songs and Recite Poetry – The cadence of songs and poetry are a natural introduction to reading. Children love rhymes and will often recite the words even before they are actually able to read them. Before long, they’ll begin to recognize the words themselves.
- Write Notes – Like reading signs and menus, reading notes is a natural way to encourage reading, but it also creates a more personal connection. Tuck notes into lunch boxes or stick them on the fridge.
Make reading a habit for your child by making reading fun, accessible and part of their everyday experience.