How can parents develop their children’s enthusiasm for reading in this modern day age of advanced technology? Today’s children are exposed to many types of technological advances beginning at earlier and earlier ages. While this phenomenon has many advantages, it can also distract children from learning to enjoy one of life’s simplest and most rewarding pleasures, reading! Many of today’s children do not read for pleasure. Oftentimes, children will only read a book when it is required for school and even then, do so begrudgingly. This does not have to be the case and this article will share ways to encourage children to read more!
Reading to Children at Bedtime Helps Create Eager Readers
The most important way to encourage children to read more is to model this behavior. Read to children at night (every night when possible). Keep it short and sweet (no more than ten minutes) and young children actually begin to look forward to going to bed. Imagine that! Allow older children a twenty to thirty minute period to read independently before bed and be sure to present the opportunity to them as a special privilege that they have earned because of their age. A little flattery can go a long way to develop a child’s enthusiasm for reading!
Frequent Visits to the Library Encourage Enthusiasm for Reading
Another great way to encourage children to read more is to take a trip to the local library and get library cards for everyone. Help children pick out high-interest books that are appropriate for their age and reading level. Encourage children to check out books related to things going on in their lives. For example: A family is thinking about getting a pet. They can look for books about various types of pets (including some uncommon ones) and help their children do some informal research on the subject. Visit the library monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly and keep those books coming to get children to read more!
Children Feel Good When They Can Celebrate Their Reading Accomplishments
Post reading logs in the home to help children monitor the books that they are reading as well as keep track of their progress. Let children fill out their own logs. Keep lots of cool stickers and stamps on hand. Set goals for how many books should be read in order to earn a reward. Have children help to decide on some of their prizes and rewards. (Hint: A trip to the local bookstore always makes a great reward!) This is a wonderful way to encourage children to read more!
Find Creative ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
Book series are fabulous tools to encourage children to be enthusiastic about reading! For especially reluctant readers, why not introduce a book series? This is a creative way to help this type of child want to read more. Book series can get them excited about reading each numbered book in the series and ultimately finish them all. (This may work especially well for the child who excels at beating levels on their video games.) There are all types of book series for children of all ages and they can be found in any bookstore or library.
Another creative way to make reading extra fun is to have children read a particular book and then rent the movie version to watch later. They can even ask a close friend or two to read the book along with them and then pick a date to invite the friends over for a viewing party. (Hint: This is a good way to introduce or reinforce the concept of compare and contrast as well as encourage children to read more.)
Families Should Make Reading an Integral Part of Their Family Culture
Parents who model the reading of great books for their children are often surprised at how their children’s interest in books picks up. Parents can try reading an additional copy of the same book as their young teen. When parents make the effort to get into their children’s world, by showing interest in what interests them, everyone benefits! Host family read-ins on rainy weekends. Have mini-book discussions over dinner and be sure to include everyone. Show enthusiasm, enthusiasm, and more enthusiasm and hopefully children will begin to do the same!