How to Foster a Love of Reading in Children
Do you have a child who resists reading? Don’t you wish you could get them to love it? You’ve probably tried all kinds of ways and may have found some that worked (we’d love to hear about those – let us know!) There are ways to work with your child to foster a lifelong love of reading. Whether your child is a new reader or has been reading for years, it is never too late to change their attitude with the help of these suggestions:
Create a culture of reading. Your child will mimic your example and having books in the home is a great way to prove just how fun reading is. Even before your child can read on his own, he will see his parents settling down to read on a regular basis.
Read aloud to your children, even after they learn to read. Reading aloud to your child, even before she can fully comprehend the content of a story, shows her reading is fun. This is a special time your child will cherish. Even babies will relax at the sound of a parent’s voice and stay occupied by looking at pictures.
Create a special library for your child. Unfortunately, many children are only exposed to books in school. Even well-meaning teachers cannot select novels that every student will love to read. Don’t let your child’s only experience with reading be one of assignments and homework. Instead, develop an at-home library, which is either a small bookcase or a shelf that is just for their books. Encourage your children to make reading choices based on their interests.
Encourage challenging books and subjects. It is important to push your child beyond their current reading level. Reading aloud helps cultivate interest in new subjects and increases your child’s vocabulary. Encourage a higher reading level without forcing them to read a certain book because you like the topic. Leisure reading is about your child’s interests and hobbies, not what you think they should read.
Make the library fun. Take your children to the library as a reward or leisure activity. Also, look for books on topics they may enjoy learning like how to make certain crafts or working together to plan a family trip. Exploring the library makes excellent use of free resources available to you.
Set aside a block of family reading time. At a certain time of the night, before bed or after dinner, have every member of the family read on their own. Even though you are not actively talking with one another, you are creating a habit with your children. Older siblings might be proud to set an example for younger siblings by reading together.
By following these tips, hopefully you will soon have a lifelong reader that truly loves this rewarding activity. We created the Learn to Read Adventures app and book series to help children enjoy reading. Be sure to enter your email in the box on the upper right of this page to be notified when we launch and receive tips on how to help new readers enjoy reading!