How can you encourage your child, whether a beginning reader or a reluctant reader, to read children’s books on a regular basis? Here are some ideas that may help.
- Make a habit of reading to your child every day, whether he/she is a one-year-old or a 10-year-old.
- When your child is able to, have her read to you. You can take turns reading chapters in a simple book, for example.
- Get a library card for your child. Go to the library every week and take out several books.
- Be aware of your child’s interests and direct your child to related books.
- Try to find a series that he/she really likes and will want to continue reading.
- Provide a comfortable reading area, with good lighting, in your home.
- Discuss books with your child.
- Buy books for your child that are related to his/her special interests.
- If your child is a reluctant reader and not reading on grade level, buy hi/lo books (books with a high interest level, low vocabulary).
- Talk to your child’s teacher and ask for suggestions.
- If your child likes incentives and the computer, enroll in an online book group.
- If your child really enjoys a particular author, check with your librarian about other authors or books he/she might enjoy.
- Children also often enjoy the opportunity to read children’s magazines.
- Stay on the side of encouraging rather than nagging if you want your child to read. Nothing puts a child off faster than feeling forced to do something, so be careful.
- I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading to your child daily. Make it a priority.
- Be consistent with reading aloud, trips to the library and other encouragement.
- If your child is in middle school, read Middle School, Reading and Tweens: Motivate Your Preteen to Read by Jennifer O’Donnell, the About.com Tweens Guide..