As you can probably tell from my various posts and pictures, reading is an integral part of our daily life in our home. My husband and I both love to read, as do our children. Not all children like to read or enjoy listening to stories. Some children see reading as a chore. We’ve been blessed thus far to have children who love to read, and do so voraciously. We realize we are lucky, and that some parents struggle with their children each night to accomplish required reading from school.
While it is not necessary for all children to “love” to read, it sure helps them in school if they at least enjoy reading to some extent.
After talking to so many parents about their children’s objections to reading it really got me thinking about ways families can encourage reading for fun in their homes. I’ve written a list of ways to encourage reading, and hopefully these ideas & activities can help not only children who are struggling, but even children who enjoy reading! Please note though, I am not a reading expert, just a preschool teacher and mama to four with a passion for reading.
Encouraging Your Child To Read:
~ Be a good role model: I find it terribly difficult to find time to read, but I do it anyway. I sneak in a few minutes here and a few minutes there to read. So does Michael, we are both a couple of bookworms. Even if you yourself do not enjoy reading for pleasure consider doing so just to be a good role model for your children. You can read magazines, newspapers, manuals, heck, even the back of the cereal box. For more ways to sneak reading into your daily routine check out this post.
~ Ask your children what they are interested in reading. School required reading might not be something they are interested in. Ask them what they want to read about and then head to your local library or bookstore and help them find the perfect book. Before each trip to the library Max lists the kinds of books he wants to read, almost always non-fiction (coyotes, lightning & baseball this week).
~ Provide books that don’t require reading, such as: picture books, craft books, drawing books, etc. This way they are utilizing books, but don’t have to sit and read if they find that boring.
~ Don’t just stick to the school’s sight word cards, expand upon that by pointing out words in your child’s world. Point out words in the grocery store, on billboards, and anywhere else you might be with your child. You will be surprised how quickly words in their everyday lives become “sight words” for them.
~ Take advantage of your public library. We spend countless hours at our library, where the kids especially enjoy story-time. Check out your local library’s website, they probably have story-time to meet your family’s needs if you have a young child. They even have great programs for older children and adults!
~ Make reading a part of your bedtime routine. As a child I read before bed each night, and still do as an adult. My children love to read before bed. I used to read to them each night, but lately they have been wanting to “read” to themselves. Now I must say, Ella is the only one who can really read…but the boys love this reading time as well. Sam often looks at a “look and find” book, and Max pores over his non-fiction books or his Lego catalog. I miss reading to them at night, but love that they are all settling in for the night with a book in hand.
I hope this helps you turn reading into a fun activity instead of a chore! Happy Reading!