My kids absolutely LOVE to read. Whether it’s a book they’ve read 100 times before or a new find at the library, both Jenny and David can spend hours looking at and reading books. (I think they might get it from me – I’m a bit of a bookaholic!)
While I wasn’t necessarily intentional about instilling a love of reading in my children (it was more of a lead by example process), you can be, and today I have six tips to help.
Help Your Kids Love Reading
When you help your kids to love reading, you provide a gift that will enrich their personal and professional lives for years to come. No matter the schooling choices you make form your children (public, private, home), parents are a child’s first teachers. To nurture the love of books, parents should begin reading to their children as soon as possible.
1. Start by reading to your baby.
It’s never too soon to get started. Read to your baby for a few minutes at a time until their attention span grows. Point to the pictures. Use rhymes and songs to teach language skills.
I love board books for babies and books like Dr. Seuss classics that incorporate rhyme into the story – both of my kids were able to identify whether or not words rhyme at an early age.
2. Continue reading books aloud as your child grows older.
Reading to your child is one of the most valuable ways to spend your time together. Make story time a regular routine before bed or anytime that works with your daily schedule.
Personally, I dislike reading aloud, but my kids absolutely love it when we sit down and read together.
3. Make reading fun and interactive.
Train yourself to read in an animated fashion. Encourage your child to read some passages aloud to you or to their brothers and sisters. Share questions about what you read together or make up your own variations on the story.
We realized that Jenny was reading at a much higher level than we’d realized when she started reading with animation in her voice. It is so much fun to listen to her read aloud!
4. Enlist your child’s teacher as an ally.
Develop regular communications with your child’s teacher(s). Be open to feedback provided. Teachers may spot any areas of weakness in reading skills that you can work to correct before they become serious issues. They can also help recommend titles that your child might enjoy.
While I am my kids’ primary teacher (since we homeschool), they have several other teachers in their lives thanks to classes at church and the library. It’s helpful for me to talk with their teachers about how well they are doing with reading when they’re not at home.
5. Visit your local library and bookstores.
Take your child along to the library and to children’s events at local bookstores. Get them a library card of their own as soon as they’re old enough to do so.
We absolutely LOVE our library. When the kids were younger, we attended a weekly story hour. Now, our weekly library trip is a highlight of each week.
6. Encourage your child to write.
Giving your child opportunities to write will help reinforce their literacy skills. Leave each other notes on the refrigerator. Write emails and greeting cards together.
I set Jenny up with a penpal (my friend Amanda’s son, Jonathan) last spring. She loves to send letters to him and is constantly bringing me notes she has written to him.
Give Your Child a Solid Foundation with Reading
You can help your children get off to a good start by learning to love reading. It will help build basic comprehension skills and change their lives for the better.
What are some of your favorite books to read with your children?
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