In this day in age, with instant information at our fingertips with the click of a mouse, and with more television and movies than we could ever possibly watch thanks to streaming services, this age-old question seems more relevant than ever: “How do I get my child to read more?”
It seems that nearly every parent would be happier if his or her child read a little more, whether that child is a book lover or not. And in the summer, this concern seems to become even greater, with students out of school and perhaps not exercising their brains as much as they could. This also makes a great time to build this interest because students do have some extra time.
So with that, let’s get reading! Here are ten helpful tips for getting your child to read more.
TEN TIPS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO READ MORE
1. Make books available.
This may seem obvious, but making a variety of books available at home makes your child more likely to pick one up and begin reading! Studies also show that simply having books in the home makes a child more likely to succeed at school and on standardized tests. Talk about a win-win situation!
2. Let your child see you reading.
Old sayings might be annoying, especially when they are spouted off at your expense, but they last for a reason: they are true (or at least true enough to warrant them being passed down for generations)! So forgive me when I say to you here, “Practice what you preach.” One of the best ways to encourage your child to read is to let him or her see you doing it. And that’s not even the best part about this tip! See below:
- You don’t have to lecture about reading; you just have to start doing it.
- When your child begins modeling your behavior, you can happily respond with an old saying of your very own: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
3. Read together.
This is a great tip for young children who cannot read on their own yet, for beginning readers, or for children who may be struggling with reading. Starting reading at a young age, or working with your child in order to build confidence in reading is a great way to spark an interest while at the same time sharing quality time with your child. The best part about this? You are both exercising your brains and imaginations away from the television.
4. Let reading reflect the real world.
What are your child’s interests, hobbies, or activities? Does he or she like animals? Take piano lessons? Play soccer? Next time your child has a question about one of his or her interests, encourage research. Help him or her find a book or article on the topic that answers his or her questions and curiosities. Also look for fiction books that may reflect your own child’s interests. But above all…(Follow me to the next tip!)
5. Let your child choose.
I like to say, “Any reading is good reading.” And I stand by that. I always tell my students that I do not care what they are reading. It could be a cereal box, instructions, or a 1,000 page novel. It doesn’t matter to me, but keep reading! Find something you are interested in, read it, and let it lead you to your next reading adventure.
6. Make reading rewarding.
I have very fond memories of being in my library’s summer reading program when I was a child. I had fun reading books and earning prizes, and all it cost my parents was a trip to the library because the program was free! Check your local library’s options for summer reading programs, or, if that is not an option, check outScholastic’s virtual version or even MathWizard’s summer camps.
7. Make reading fun.
I get it. Summer is for fun, and the school year can get so busy that when students finally find some free time, the last thing they want to do is crack open a book. Make reading more appealing, fun, and interactive by checking out my previous post on ten free reading websites for students.
8. Make reading a family affair.
This is a great option for families who really want to up their reading game! Start a family book club. Agree on a book, read it, and set aside time on a regular basis to discuss it. Once you complete one book, choose another and start over. This is great for holding every member of a family accountable for reading, and it can also allow you to read about a variety of topics – especially if you take turns choosing books!
Always be open to discussing books, articles, etc. with your child. The more interest you show in what a child is reading, the more the child will feel like what he or she is doing is not only valued, but also valuable. It also encourages information sharing, and it lets the child take the front seat and be the teacher for a change.
10. Consider private tutoring or educational enrichment.
If your child is showing a struggle with reading, check your local area for private tutoring options. Alternatively, if your child excels and has a great interest in reading, check your area for an educational enrichment program.Not sure which option is right for your child? See this post for what you need to know.
And there you have it! Ten tips for getting your child to read more. Pick one, try all ten, or mix and match to find the best option for your child. No matter what though, read on!
What do you think? Do you use any of these tips in your everyday life? What methods have worked the best for getting your child to read? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Author: Emily Karth, Teacher and Writer, MathWizard Inc.