Photo by: iStock

How To Foster A Love of Reading

Photo by: iStock

When you find a good book, you can’t put it down yet you never want it to end. When I think back to growing up and what book that was for me “Anne of Green Gables” instantly comes to mind. I gobbled it up as quickly as my eyes could scan the pages. We all wish that for our children, to look over and see their nose buried in a book dreaming of a spectacular adventure. For some it happens, but for many reading has turned into an assigned chore instead of a pleasure. How can you get your child to engage in more reading for fun?

Make Regular Visits to the Library
Take a huge grocery bag and let your child fill it up with a wide variety of book choices. With my daughter who is seven, this means a mix of books she can read and ones I can read to her. I don’t say no, she can just grab anything from the shelves at no cost to me. The investment is simply time, but this weekly trip shows that reading is a priority in your home.

Delay Bedtime
In our home, we read before bed. I send the children up to their rooms 30 to 60 minutes before I expect them to be asleep. This guarantees that they are getting a chance to read every night. For my son, who is an advanced reader, he simply continues with whatever chapter book he is engrossed in. For my younger daughter who is a reluctant reader, we spend twenty minutes together with me reading to her and her taking turns with sentences. Then she has free time to read in her bed. Sometimes this is just a time where she flips through books, but to me it is exposure to print and that is all I can do.

Read to Your Child
Sometimes your child’s reading ability does not match their vocabulary and imaginary thought. This is a great chance to teach reading skills through reading aloud. I promise that this will become a special bonding time. If your child is capable of reading the book that you are sharing, you just may find that you can stop at a critical point and let your child know they can go ahead and read ahead if they would like.

Find a Series
Letting your child have the choice of what they want to read is a very important factor in whether they will be encouraged to increase their reading time. I love to read, but I often get stuck between books. When I find an author I like, it is an amazing achievement since I can just hop on to the author’s next book. Current trends in children literature makes this much easier than in the past, as there are a huge variety of book series even for the most beginning readers. Once your child is hooked on a series, make sure to have the next book available. I have found that sharing between friends is a great cost savings in this area as often times our library has not caught up with the latest books in a series. I am also thankful for Amazon Prime shipping!

Set Goals
When my son was in first grade, he was very reluctant to stick with a chapter book even though he was capable of reading at that level. Enter in the banana split challenge. My son wanted to try a banana split, which I had no objections to so why not combine that as a reward for meeting the goal of finishing a chapter book independently! In two days the book was done, the banana split was enjoyed and he realized he could read chapter books and never looked back. Later as he grew as a reader and started to use Accelerated Reader at school, he was not motivated much by the program. We took the amazing fact that by taking quizzes on the books he read, it also tracked his words read. As his words increased with each quiz, we set a goal of reading one million words. It made him increase his reading time and the level of the books he chose.

Creating a family of readers can be difficult in most families, but when it clicks the rewards are amazing. Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than those who do not (Krashen 1993; Cunningham and Stanovich 1991; Stanovich and Cunningham 1993). Remember that you have to find a balance, let your child lead the way through choice, model reading, and have a multitude and variety of text for them to choose from!

Lindsey Johnston is a mother to two Elementary aged children. One a veracious reader and the other whose reluctance to read has challenged her each step of the way. Her passion for reading carries over to her profession as a primary special education teacher. Johnston resides wit her husband Rich, son Cole, and daughter Cecily in Northeastern Pennsylvania. You can read more about her challenges and adventures at her blog Crumbs in the Couch.

Like This Article

Like Mamapedia

Learn From Moms Like You

Get answers, tips, deals, and amazing advice from other Moms.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us
Want to become a contributor?
Want to become a contributor?

If you'd like to contribute to the Wisdom of Moms on Mamapedia, please sign up here to learn more: Sign Up

Recent Voices Posts

See all