Do you have a child who is a reluctant reader? Here are some ideas that will help motivate your child to read.
I remember being pregnant with my first child and propping the book upon my protruding tummy and reading to her. Granted this may seem a little extreme, but I had the best intentions.
Here are some ideas for helping your child develop a love of reading.
- Read to your child from a very young age. Allow your child to select the book as they approach preschool, allow them to cuddle in your lap and make it a daily routine.
- Be the role model and let your child see you as a reader. Make sure they see you reading the newspaper and the instructions to that Ikea bookshelf assembly. Let your child see you curled up on the couch, absorbed in a book.
- Help your child make the connection that reading is everywhere. Point out road signs while driving and allow your child to help you select menu items in restaurants. Your child will soon learn that reading is not an isolated school event, but a needed skill in the outside world.
- Visit a library at least once a week. Schedule a time in your busy family life to take your child to a public library and check out books. Take advantage of storytelling time at the library and other free events.
- Buy favorite books and set up a bookshelf for your child to display their favorite books. This promotes pride of ownership and how to care for books.
- In elementary school, it is important that you are aware of your child’s independent reading level. Go to a bookstore that has leveled books and ask your child to read a page in a chapter book. If he or she misses more than five words on a page, that book is too difficult and you will need to try an easier book. So many children become discouraged if the text is too hard and they give up. A book that is too difficult for the child, could be read aloud by the parent at bedtime.
- Use your child’s elementary teacher as a valuable resource. They are a wealth of information on motivating your child to read.
- Visit a bookstore, once you have determined your child’s reading level and try to interest your child in a reading series. Popular reading series are “Captain Underpants,” “Amber Brown,” and “Zack Files.” Interest in a particular series will further motivate your child to enjoy reading.
- Provide a time each day where reading is the focus. Turn off the television and the computer and read as a family for 15 minutes.
- In middle and high school students may not have the time for pleasure reading, as their time is often spent reading content for classes. But take advantage of the time that school is not in session. Once again, visit a bookstore to buy reading material which interests your teen for the long wait in airports and the lounging on balmy beaches.
- Successful people are readers. Remind your teen that success in high school, college and in the professional world is connected to reading well.
- Keep the favorite books of your child during the different stages of their lives. Like a photo album, they will remember the stories of their developing years and look upon those books as old friends.
One of the greatest gifts that a parent can give to a child is the love of reading.
The gift of reading will be a cherished treasure and truly last a lifetime!
Published in: Family