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All three of my children love to read. Every time they pick up a book I think: how did we do that?? How did all 3 of my kids love reading a book? After thinking about the way we live our lives and after watching my kids; I came up with 8 things that we do that made our children book lovers.
Make books available
We have books all over the house, even the bathroom. Not only are there books in every room, the children’s books are easy to reach and always accessible. We spend the majority of our day at home. With limited toys and limited TV, the children are easily drawn to the books that we have.
Lead by example
I think that children learn by doing but also by seeing. My husband and I love to read. Most days, you can catch us on our phones or reading a book. My husband likes business books while I like novels of all sorts.
Since my children were young, they have seen us read and they naturally want to copy mom and dad.
Read to them regularly
We read to our children every day. We don’t have a set amount of time and sometimes we do miss this. But on most days, we read to our kids. We follow the reading program from our kid’s school but we also read other books. Most educators suggest reading at least 20 min a day.
Take them to the library
We are so fortunate to have an amazing local library. Edmonton’s library was voted as the best library in North America in 2016. Not only do they have amazing books, but have great programs and access to a variety of online resources as well. We take our kids to the library about once a month. When we take books out, we can keep them for 3 weeks, so that seems to be the cycle we keep.
At the library, our kids have access to so many books and get exposed to new cultures and authors that we may not have discovered had we not gone to the library. We often come home with our favorite books, but every so often we discover something new and it’s amazing.
Let them choose their book
Whether we are at home or at the library, I always let my kids choose what books they want to read and bring home. My kids have a general understanding of what I don’t want them to read and they know that I have the final say. With this system, my kids choose books they are interested in and I have a way to make sure its appropriate content.
By having kids choose what they read, they feel more ownership over the book and there is a higher chance that they will read that book over and over again. There have been many times that I picked books up for the kids that they never even looked at, but will spend hours flipping through books they picked.
Talk about stories and reading
When we read stories to the kids, we ask them questions and try to relate that story to our own lives. We don’t do this all the time, but when we do it’s a great way to connect with our children. Not only do we talk about what we read to our kids, but we answer questions about what we are reading.
My eldest daughter is almost 8. Lately, she has been very interested in the books my husband and I are reading. She often asked what they are about and if I like reading it. I will often answer these questions with enough information that answers her question, but not too much to give away or story or scare her. Example, I just finished reading the Harry Potter book series. I love them but think that the content is too old for her. So when she asked me about the books, I told her the general content of the book without any of the details.
Don’t make it a punishment
I believe that reading should be a joy and not a chore. I think it is our job to make reading fun and interesting. To encourage children to read, reading should never be a punishment. There are many consequences we can give our children, but reading should not be one of them. If we make reading a punishment than reading becomes related to negative feelings and memories and children might grow to hate reading.
Don’t rush them
My eldest daughter is in grade 2. In the middle of the year, we were told that she was below reading level. Instead of stressing and worrying about her reading level and we stayed the course. We found books that she was interested in we set a goal. She wanted to be able to read a chapter book by the end of the year. Now, close to the end of the year, she has met her goal and is able to read simple chapter books. By not rushing her and making her feel bad about her ability she read at her own pace and caught up. I believe that if we had rushed her or make her feel bad or pressured her then she might have stopped reading or grow to hate it.
Make a comfy spot
My kids love building a fort and then bringing in a bunch of books and reading them inside the fort. Making fun and comfortable places your kids can read in will not only encourage them to read more but will make reading so much more fun. My youngest son likes to sit in a box to read 😉
Reading is so much fun!! Some children have a hard time reading. I think that some of these tips will help develop a love of reading.
What do you do to foster a love of reading?
Originally posted 2017-05-08 05:34:01.