How do you get your child to read more in the midst of all the distractions? Television, cell phones, computers, Playstation and Xbox games seem to take all their time. The amount of homework and tests does not help much either, as they leave the child with nothing but unpleasant feeling towards the written word. Encouraging a love of reading in a kid is not something impossible, and is simpler than it looks. It takes some sneakiness (and follow through) by mom and dad, and voila! Your reluctant reader improves.
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Tips to get your child to read more
Reading and language skills develop as the child engages more reading material. I know, because I have a reluctant reader at home, but since we started homeschooling – he has improved in this area by leaps and bounds. I’ll share some tips that I do apply at home, and some that work for most parents:
Lead by example
Kids observe our behavior and copy it more than they listen to what we say. I developed a love of books because they were everywhere in our home. My grandfather left behind a mini-library that had all sorts of material. Both of my parents were advancing their studies in the field of education when I was young. Reading was our culture, so it was easy for me to take it on as a hobby.
To get your child to read more, take up reading yourself. The kids must see you practicing what you preach at home. With the online work that I do, I rarely have the energy to read paper-based books – but I do make time to read my son’s favorite books. It has become our thing. I also make time for my 10-year-old daughter to walk me through her favorite books and stories.
Let them choose their reading books
Nothing will get your child to read more like being allowed to read stuff that interests them. Prescribed reading material happens enough at school, as well as in their homeschool curriculum (for some of us who have taken the latter route).
Let the child choose their books. When it comes to reading, it matters very little whether the kids are reading fiction or non-fiction material. Most kids hate reading because the content does not reach or challenge them in any way. Interest in the subject matter is the solution to get your child to read more.
Give them incentives for reading
The politically correct term (especially for moms) is called bribing 🙂 .It may feel odd that one has to bribe her kids to read, but psychologists seem to agree that rewarding the positive behavior is much more effective than punishing the bad one.
Reading is the only way that my kids get to earn their allowance. The pleasant thing is that, as the months go by since we started the arrangement, they don’t seem to care about the money anymore.
The no-screen-time rule
If you want to get your child to read more, then minimizing exposure to television and other tech gadgets may help.
It could be as simple as allocating a particular hour (or half an hour) for reading.
At this time, switch off the television, and have their phones stashed somewhere else.
My kids seem to love the peace, and quiet that comes with this reading time. Needless to say, I also love it!
Take advantage of movies and television shows to inspire a love of reading
Yep!…it does work. My now teen son only started paying attention to books (outside of school), when he realized that his favorite movies also came in book form. Take advantage of this, and insist that they read the book before watching the movie.
The familiarity with the characters seems to be a perfect motivator to want to uncover the story. My now 10-year-old daughter used to pester me to read her the “Dora The Explorer” books. She was two at the time, and Dora was her favorite character.
There you go! – 5 practical tips to get your child to read more.
Do you struggle with ways to encourage your kids to read?
If not, how do you get your child to read more? Your input may help other parents who struggle in this area. If you want to come back later – simply bookmark/Pin/Share the below infographic for ease of reference.