Reading is an important life skill. It improves vocabulary, enhances critical thinking, and develops analytical skills, which are critical for academic success and life. For this reason, your kid developing a reading behavior is important. Being a teacher, I have been frequently asked by and discussed with parents about encouraging their kid to read. In this article, I will share the tips I have learned from talking to parents and from research.
How to encourage my kid to read? Make reading an enjoyable experience to foster a love for it. Make sure that the activities you provide are geared towards developing a positive attitude towards reading. There are numerous ways that a parent can help by making your kid hold books and start sounding out and decoding letters.
All parents desire that their kid reads at the appropriate age. Some kids can already read at the age of three. However, most kids learn this skill between 5 to 7 years old. Remember, the earlier your kid starts to read, the more opportunities for him to learn new things. With this in mind, you can encourage your kid through making reading a fun home activity.
12 Tips To Encourage Your kid To Read
As a parent, you know reading is essential. If your kid does not show any sign that he is interested in reading? Here are 12 tips to effectively encourage your kid to read.
- Model the love for reading
- Read stories to your kid.
- Let your kid read books according to his age and interest
- Ask questions about what he reads
- Use technology to make reading fun
- Allot reading time as a family
- Expose your kid to books and other reading materials
- Provide a nice reading corner at home
- Give books as gifts
- Visit libraries and book sales
- Do some activities that encourage reading
- Restrict gadget and television time
1) Model the love for reading
The best way to encourage your kid to read is by showing him that you read and you love doing this activity. If your kid often sees you holding a book or any reading material, he will be motivated to do the same. Young readers can get their interests in reading to parents who model the love for it.
Parents play significant roles in making their kids develop their reading skills by impressing on them that reading is important.
2) Read stories with your kid
Another effective way to encourage your kid to read is by reading a story together every day or every night. Make this activity a part of your daily routine so he will make reading a habit. Aside from making your kid love reading, you are also enhancing your relationship with your kid through this routine activity. Once you have developed this in your kid, he will look forward to this time each night or he will be reminding you of it if ever you are missing it already.
3) Let your kid read books according to his age and interest
Let your kid read books according to his interest and age. This can engage his passion for reading. Guide him in choosing the right books for him but you have to give him the freedom to choose his books. If the books are hard or too easy for your kid, they may take away his interest to read. Too difficult books might even lower your kid’s self-esteem, as this can de-motivate because it’s too challenging.
4) Ask questions about what he reads
Show interest in what your kid reads. You can ask a few questions about what he is reading. Asking him questions will not only encourage him to read but it can also improve his reading comprehension. Also, your feedback and affirmations after asking questions can motivate your kid to seek self-improvement to become a better reader.
5) Use technology to make reading fun
Technology can greatly influence the love for reading. There are fun and entertaining technology-based activities that are appealing to kids. You can expose your kid to e-books and other applications that promote a love for reading.
There are also e-learning activities that would enhance specific skills and the comprehension aspects of reading. Introducing reading with the aid of technology can make reading easier, engaging and fun.
6) Allot reading time as a family
Have time for reading as a family by allotting a specific time for reading. For instance, you can have 20 minutes everyday or 1 to 2 hours every weekend. If you want to really establish a reading culture in the family, this is a great practice. If your kid is still struggling with reading, this is also a good opportunity to provide regular assistance.
7) Expose your kid to books and other reading materials
When books are available at home, your kid will be encouraged to read. It is also recommended to provide a variety of reading materials to make him exposed to a wide selection. You can make reading materials available in the different parts of the house so a reading resource is accessible to him anytime and anywhere. This is a good strategy to make him grab a book or any reading material during any spare time.
8) Provide a nice reading corner at home
A good reading environment can foster a love for reading. Design your reading corner in such a way that it is enticing to your kid. Make it cozy and friendly by providing furniture and wall colors that will give a relaxing reading time. It is important to consider proper lighting and ventilation to ensure utmost comfort as you teach your kid how to read or as he reads on his own.
9) Give books as gifts
If you want your kid to recognize the importance of reading, gift him with books or any reading material. You can advise your relatives to do the same, so your kid can really see that the significant others around him value reading. However, do not overdo it for you might lose the essence of this action when your kid is bombarded with too many books as gifts.
10) Visit libraries and book fairs
Encourage your kid to visit the school library. If there are local libraries in your area, you can bring your kid to the library and expose him to the world of books. Allow your kid to explore the place and enjoy the variety of reading materials available. Also, you can go to book fairs so your kid can see a place where book lovers meet. These two exciting activities are also good learning opportunities for your developing kid.
11) Do some activities that encourage reading
There are home activities that you can do to help your kid realize that having the ability to read is important. Make your kid read labels in the kitchen and expose them to the instruction manual, which they need to read in order to operate a gadget or an electric appliance. Also, make them realize that they need to read what is flashed on the screens of televisions and gadgets to further understand what is shown.
12) Restrict gadget and television time
Gadgets and televisions can be venues for your kid to develop reading. However, you have to ensure that the devices don’t take away the reading time that your kid is supposed to have. Limit the screen time of your kid to make him focused more on enhancing his reading skills and comprehension. Through this, you are also protecting the eyes of your kid which are the sense organ he is using in reading.
Reading skill will unlock your kid’s potential to reach his dreams. Help your kid learn this skill through these effective activities that encourage reading. They may be challenging and uncomfortable to implement at first, but as any habit, once it’s ingrained, it will feel natural. Cultivating the environment and circumstance that foster reading will encourage your kid to read.
What could be the reasons why my kid is not yet reading? Though your kid is of age already, there are underlying reasons why he is not yet reading. Some of the reasons include his readiness to read, anxiety towards reading, speech or language difficulty, and hearing impairment. In addition, some kids struggle with reading because they could not process the letter sounds with spoken words. However, you have to remember that each kid develops at different rates.
What are the first steps in teaching your kid how to read? For your kid to start reading on his own, you can teach letter recognition first. Then make him recognize the sound of each letter. Letter recognition and sounding out of letters are important skills in which you can start at home to develop his reading ability. When your kid has learned these skills, he can start attacking words, and eventually, he can already read on his own.