Some kids can read quietly for hours while others can’t seem to sit still long enough to get through a short story. And a whole lot of children are somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where our kids fall on the “book-lover” spectrum, most parents agree that there is plenty of opportunity for improvement.
So how do you go about shifting the pendulum away from the TV and toward a good book? Follow these ten tips and you will see even the most resistant children reading more:
1.) Set an example. Take a look at your own habits. When your kids watch you unwinding after a long day, what do they see? Many times adults do not reach for a book until they slip into bed, long after the kids are asleep. Next time, grab a book rather than the remote control at a time when your reading habits are visible to your children.
2.) Read out loud. Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important to spend time together reading a good book. For early readers or kids who are struggling a bit, let them just relax and listen to you read sometimes. They will learn to enjoy the entertainment value of a good book without the frustration of struggling through it all alone.
3.) Keep books in the car. At home there are a lot of distractions that can be more appealing to a child than reading a book. But when sitting at a doctor’s office or on the sideline of a sibling’s sports event, a book takes on a whole new light. So keep a stash on hand for the next time your child needs to pass some time.
4.) Visit the library. If you have not stepped foot in a library for some time, you will be pleasantly surprised at what it offers. A well-run branch has ever-changing displays and attractions for kids. In addition to borrowing some video games (yes, they have those too!), your child can select a generous number of books to enjoy for a couple of weeks.
5.) Find new places to read. It is good to have a quiet place at home to read. But sometimes it is even better to break the routine and take your child somewhere new to do some reading. Find a bench at a park, sit on your front porch, spread out a blanket in the backyard…you get the idea. Changing the environment breaks up the monotony and keeps it fun.
6.) Let your child pick the books. There is plenty of required reading in school, and that can feel like a punishment for kids who do not have an affinity for books. So take some time to help your child find books he or she finds interesting for leisure reading.