Do you have a reluctant reader? Julie joins the blog today to help our children develop into kids that, truly, enjoy reading.
Helping your kids develop reading skills is important, but encouraging your children to be the kind of kids that CHOOSE to read is even more important..
These creative solutions will help you choose books your child will never want to stop reading, help them pick the right reading materials that they will be excited about, help you learn to model that behavior, and (of course) make reading to your child a priority.
Be sure to scroll down for all of our suggestions on how to teach your children to read, picture book suggestions, and even more tips on books to add to your home library.
From our monthly contributor, Julie!
Over the course of my teaching career I’ve given a lot of thought to helping kids become better readers.
I’ve tried to figure out what helps some kids love reading and what leaves some kids dreading books.
This list of 10 ways to encourage your child to read at home is the result of my experiences with teaching reading and talking to hundreds of teachers, parents and students.
When we can provide ways for kids to see the benefits and excitement of reading, we can create lifelong readers.
10 Genius Ways to Make Your Kids Love Reading
Pick Up Your Own Book
I interviewed a couple hundred parents as I put together this list and one thing really stood out to me: Parents who read, raise children who read. Oftentimes, when kids see parents make reading a priority, they are more inclined to make it a priority. I could give you quite a few cliches about this, but it really comes down to making sure you practice what you preach.
Listen to a podcast.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. When I listen, I get excited about new trends, products, and people in the industries that interest me. The great news is that there are also great podcasts for kids about reading designed to get them excited about new books, introduce them to authors and discover new genres. Here are some of my favorite recommendations.
Be creative about what they can read
This year I had a student who was determined to beat his brother at Minecraft. So he decided to check out a Minecraft book at the library, but stopped himself because he wasn’t sure if the book would count as reading since it didn’t seem like a real book. I assured him that this book very much counts because one of the reasons people read is to learn new information and this book looked like the perfect way for him to do just that. Just like adults have varied reading interests, we should encourage kids to read a variety of texts as well…books, magazines, blogs, graphic novels.
Go to a Children’s Book Festival
One way to help build excitement is to head out to a Children’s Book Festival. Meeting authors, seeing other kids who love reading, finding new books to read and experiencing a fun reading atmosphere can help kids see reading as an enjoyable experience rather than as a dreaded chore.
Put reading on the schedule…and protect it.
One parent I interviewed said they schedule in family reading time just like they would a sports practice. The family often reads for more than the scheduled time, but they have found that having that dedicated time on the calendar helps them make reading a priority instead of just giving it leftover time.
Put down the devices
It can be difficult to focus on reading when the tv is on, the gaming systems are fired up, and various other devices are in our hands. Set aside time in the day for some tech free time and pick up a book instead. I’m always amazed how much kids enjoy device free time…even if they don’t think they will!
Read aloud to your kids
I once had a 4th grader boy tell me how much he missed having his mom read a chapter each night to him from a book. When I let his mom know she excitedly selected a new book and started the habit back up. Many kids love being read to and reading a book aloud together can be a great way to encourage the love of literacy and bond between caregiver and child.
Choose a family book and have everyone read it
How fun for kids when they know they aren’t reading a book alone, but can call up grandma, an uncle, or a cousin to talk about the book they are reading. This is another opportunity to make reading more fun instead of something kids feel obligated to check off the list.
Book subscription boxes
Do a quick online search and you’ll find loads of book-themed subscription boxes for every age. Building excitement and anticipation for books helps kids think of books as less of a chore and more as something exciting.
Did you know that Book of the Month now has a YA Club? This would make such a fun holiday gift for a reader in your life.
Join a book club for kids…or start one!
Many adults find it helpful to have accountability by reading in a book club.
This means someone is going to check to see if they finished the book and they’ll have someone to discuss the book with if they have questions or thoughts.
Kids also like being able to talk about the books they are reading and a book club for kids is the perfect place to do that.
If you can’t find any book clubs near you, consider starting one of your own.
Have your child pick out a book, invite a few friends to read the book with them and then gather together with snacks to talk about the book they read.
Having taught in both California and Pennsylvania and everything from 3rd to 8th grade, this year Julie is teaching 3rd grade at an elementary school in Southern California. She enjoys helping her students fall in love with reading and reading during the school day is a big priority. Julie loves traveling in her free time and always makes time to pop into local bookshops when she travels. When she’s not reading or teaching, she loves running, cupcakes and Christmas. You can find her blogging too over on her blog, Girl On the Move.
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Do you have any genius tips to make your kids excited to read? We would love to hear them!