6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Love Reading
Do you have a young reader in your home? Are you trying to encourage your kids to be one that loves to pick up a book and read? If so, then you want to promote the love of reading in your home.
I know we try to cultivate a love for reading in our home by making it something we all do and love. We want our kids to be readers – to love the knowledge they can glean from a good book. We want them to get lost in a piece of literature and not want to put that book down.
If this is what you are looking for you, you will want to consider 6 ways to get your kids to love reading.
#1 – Read Yourself – I would say the most important way to cultivate a love for reading in your home is to read yourself. Let your kids see you reading. Have books going. Show them that you love reading. If you have a spouse that doesn’t like reading, encourage them to read once in a while just to help promote it (shhhh….maybe they will learn to love reading too but you don’t have tell them that :)) It is important for you to model the behavior you are after so read, read, read!
#2 – Have Books Readily Available – Encouraging reading in your home means having books readily available in your home. if you don’t have a lot of books in your home, be sure to make frequent visits to your local library (you can read my post about using your library here) and allow your kids to check out lots of books on various topics. You may want to have a book basket in a conspicuous spot in your home that the kids can readily go through and pick a book of interest. We use a big bag as our library book basket and the kids are always getting books
#3 – Let Them Read What They Are Interested In – This is one that is important. We tend to have a list of books we think our kids should read. (Summer reading list, semester reading list, etc) But the best way to encourage your kids to develop a love for reading is to allow them to read what they are interested in. My son LOVES animals. He could care less about the boy that saw the apple tree or the girl that went to the dentist or stories like that. Give him a book about animals and he is all in. So I allow my kids to check out their own books from the library.
Yes, I have required reading for my older kids and they are allowed to read something for fun in between or before bed but read required reading during the day, depending upon the agreed upon schedule, but for my beginning reader I think it is more important that they are reading – reading ANYTHING. So, I allow them to choose what they are reading. They are much more likely to read if they are interested in the topic.
#4 – Make a Reading Place – One of the fun things about reading for my kids is heading to their favorite reading chair and curling up to read. My daughter loves her little reading corner. She loves to settle in and read. My son likes to read on the couch and loves to listen to audio books while he builds with Legos. My daughter likes reading in bed at night. But during the day she likes her pillow corner where it is quiet and she can get into reading. Make your kids a reading corner and be sure to put some good books within reach.
#5 – Consider an Incentive Program to Encourage Reading – If you have a reader that is having some issues getting through books, consider an incentive program to encourage them to read more. Am I encouraging bribery? Maybe, but not forever. It is more than likely that once you have rewarded them a little, they will no longer need the incentive to dive into a favorite book. Some rewards for reading could be stickers, snacks, or even computer or TV times for every so many minutes they read or books they complete. You can decide the best way to reward your reader.
#6 – Let Them Read in the Means They Want – Do you have a child that loves to handle books? Point to the pictures, curl up with bed with a book, check out books from the library? Then go to the library often, have books readily available. But if you have a technology kid that just has to have their Kindle, then let them read on the Kindle. Embrace technology. You may even want to add to their repertoire with some audio books, maybe they like listening more than reading. Audio book listening will only build their interest and love for literature and encourage them to read more for themselves.
How do you cultivate a love for reading in your home? What are the best ways you have found to encourage your kids to read? I would love hear about them.
Tawnee Hinton is a baby-wearing, classically educating, military, homeschool mama. She and her husband, Chris, have 4 children and live in Indiana. Chis and Tawnee are involved in their church, local homeschooling group and in community veterans’ projects. She blogs about parenting and their homeschooling adventures at Adventures in Homeschooling.