Encouraging our children to read can sometimes be a daunting task. Although some of us are blessed with avid readers, many of us live with the child that would rather “wait for the movie to come out”. Listed below are ten strategies to help your child develop a passion for reading.
1. Build a Well Stocked Home Library.
When the boys came to live with us, we had no children’s books in the house. Every book was geared for an adult. Since then we have added two bookcases and three very long shelving units above them to accommodate the books we have accumulated for the boys. What used to be a small area referred to as the hallway, is now the library.
2. Visit Your Local Library Regularly.
Going to the library can be a fun and free family outing. Not only can the boys peruse the aisles for a good book, they thoroughly enjoy getting on the computers, and checking out dvd’s. In the summertime, the library offers a variety of reading activities for kids.
3. Read a Good Book.
Set a good example. Get back into reading. Our children model themselves based a great deal on our behavior. If you read on a regular basis, chances are they will follow suit.
4. Go on an Outing to Used Book Stores.
We have a great used book store about thirty minutes away. It is large and well stocked with new and used books. We can spend hours there looking for just the right book.
5. Share a Book. Read together.
Read the same book with your child. Discuss it afterward. Talk about the characters and the plot. Compare opinions on what each of you liked about it.
6. Choose Material with a Topic Your Child is Interested
Half the battle of getting your child to read is finding a story that interests him. If he’s interested in space travel, search together for a book on this topic.
7. Read the Book And See the Movie.
We have had some good conversations at our house about the book vs. the movie. Doing both gives your child an opportunity to discuss the difference in the book and the film. Did the movie stay close to the story line in the book? Were the characters portrayed as well in the movie as they were in the book?
8. Play “Buried Word”.
We have a game we play when reading a book. When each of the boys encounters an unfamiliar word, we look it up. It is referred to as a buried word, like a buried treasure. They will then write the word down and we compare the lists at the end of the book to see who found the most new words.
9. Read the Bible As A Family.
If you want to find every story line possible, every plot imaginable, all the personalities you could envision, read the bible with your kids.
10. Set Aside Time to Read.
Children love structure. Your child may try to avoid it, even complain about it, but they do thrive on consistency, on knowing what to expect. If you insist your child has a regular reading time, and stick to it, eventually it will become second nature to pick up a book regularly. When this begins to happen, you are well on your way to having an avid reader in the house.
These are just a few tools for encouraging your child to read. Do you have any strategies for persuading your child to enjoy a good book? If so, please share them. I look forward to new ideas that will entice our boys to read.