Getting your child to read for most parents is quite the challenge. Even though books are one the greatest tools for learning, children tend to want to do various other forms of entertainment such as video games, surfing the web, or texting their friends. These activities come nowhere close to the benefits that reading provides. When the last day of school strolls around, getting your child to read becomes even harder. Since they are out of school, they want to focus on friends or games, rather than their educational and academic needs. Here is a list of ways to get your child to read:
- Find a book that is going to get them excited. Children do not want to read something they are forced to. In school, they are always told what books/ stories to read for class work and homework. Children will want to read more when they get to pick the book themselves. Take them to a local library or bookstore and give them the opportunity to pick whatever their heart desires. This could lead to them strolling down the isles of other genres too.
- After they find books they like, try and introduce them to similar genres. Like I mentioned before, letting them pick their own book could lead to curiosity of other books. Maybe that particular author writes a different type of genre and they want to read it. You can also introduce them to other authors who have similar writing styles as an author they already like.
- Explore different reading materials. Some children might prefer a different form of reading. It is beneficial to explore other reading formats like tablets, e-readers, and kindles. Another type of format is CD’s. Letting a child listen and hear the book can have them more engaged because of the different sounds. It helps them create a better visual.
- Get the whole team involved. Instead of having your child read alone, offer to involve the whole squad one night. You can gather the family together and create a game, or play one that was already created, such as charades. You can use characters or scenes from the novel he/she is reading and act them out, or act out any book that they have already read and act out/describe the title.
- Bring stories to life! Encourage your child to read aloud, this way it helps them focus and understand what they are reading. This also might make them feel more involved in the story. You can give characters voices, interesting traits, and ask questions about what they are reading after every few pages or chapters.
- Create enjoyable and thrilling games! Creating fun and exciting games will make your child want to read. You and your child can create a reading spinner; a spinner that you spin that has 6-8 questions or scenarios on it. Whichever part the spinner lands on, he/she gets to answer. Your spinner can have plot or character based questions, or maybe a piece that says, “create your own alternate ending.” The possibilities are endless!
- Be positive. ALWAYS encourage your child to read and when they do a good job, praise them. Praise can simply be a “good job,” kiss on the cheek, or a high five. It doesn’t necessarily have to be present based. You can even create a sticker rewards chart. Every time they read, they get to pick a sticker and put it on their chart. When they complete the chart, reward them with a night out altogether as a family, but let them choose what the family does. This will make them feel important and valued. You can also reward them with a small present if you prefer that. You can implement whichever tactic works best for you and your child.
- If your child sees you read, they’ll read. If you’re just talking the talk instead of walking the walk, your child is more likely going to follow in your footsteps. Make sure your child sees you reading. You are their role model and seeing how you appreciate and value books can be great motivation. Make it known that you love to read and they might join you on that habit.
Joyce, Amy. “Summer reading: Tips from parents, who happen to know a few things about books.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 19 June 2017. Web.
Salmon, Lisa. “Novel ways to keep kids interested in reading.” BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Belfasttelegraph, June 19 2017. Web.