Tips to Get Your Child Excited about Reading
Could you use some tips to help get your child(ren) excited about reading? Reading is one of those school assignments that isn’t going away any time soon. So how do you get your child into something that is such an important part of what they do every day? Here are some tried and true tips to get your child excited about reading.
Find Texts that Sparks His or Her Interest
Consider your own reading experiences. Chances are likely that you prefer a light summer novel to a college textbook. The same is true for your child. While sometimes it’s important to insist that he or she complete a required reading assignment, other times helping him/her focus on developing a love for reading should be the goal. Maybe comic books or animal fantasies don’t qualify as classic literature, but if your child loves them and gets excited about them, then encourage it.
Not Every Book will be a Favorite
As is the case with most things, your child is not likely to love every literary genre put before him or her. One child may love historical fiction and biographies while another may not be able to get enough of fantasies. If you find that your child is having a tough time getting hooked into reading, try changing the genres that he or she is reading. Not sure where to start? Consider favorite TV shows or styles of play. If your child loves imaginative play, then fantasies may be a good place to start. If, however, he or she favors watching informational television (like the Discovery Channel or the History Channel) then maybe nonfiction would be a better starting point.
Make Reading a Family Affair
Your child will imitate what he or she sees at home. If the encouragement for reading begins and ends at homework time, then it doesn’t show that you also value the opportunity to read. If your child has a specific number of minutes to read each evening, consider making that a drop everything and read time at your house. You may choose to use that time to read aloud to younger children, have your newer readers read aloud to you or for the whole family to read independently. Regardless of what works best for your family, taking the time to read together every day will get everyone excited about it.
Talk about All the Things Readers Can Do
Reading opens the doors to so much that we do every day…everything from understanding how to make favorite dishes, to knowing which direction to go to get to a destination. Having your child help you read in a variety of settings will help him or her to see what a valuable skill reading is. You may even want to call attention to how his or her ability to read helped you to accomplish something together.
Celebrate Minutes Spent Reading
As your child gets into the habit of reading, log the amount of time spent each evening. Once a pre-determined goal is met, it’s time to celebrate! You may choose to buy a new book for your child, spend time at the park, etc. as a way to congratulate your child on a job well-done.
It’s All about Location
Think back to your early reading days. Do you remember reading in a certain place? Maybe it was a cozy nook in your school’s library or a special chair at home. Where were you when you remember reading your favorite childhood books? Creating a setting for your reader will help him or her to be comfortable and ready to read. Once he or she has entered that special reading place, his/her mind will be ready to focus on reading.
Do you have other tips to get your child excited about reading? Please share your ideas!