It has been shown that kids who love reading books perform better in school, score better on standardized tests and do better in not only grade school but also all the way through college. A love of reading is such an important feature to pass onto our children. So when I was able to get books to review from the Whitman Publishing company for my kids, I jumped at the chance. I absolutely love reading. And I want my kids to have the same passion. I have done all I can to instill that love of reading books for my children and so far it has paid off. Yes, you can inspire your children to love reading books!
Ways to Teach your child to love reading books
Read to them! Beginning the love of reading starts very young. Long before your child can read themselves. To encourage your child to love reading books you should start reading to them from the very beginning. Ok; give yourself a few days to recover from the labor and delivery. But then jump right in. Those kids that have parents that read to them are far more likely to love reading books later on in their lives.
So what if your child absolutely refuses to let you read to them? Yes it happens. In fact; all three of my children were this way. They absolutely refused to let me read to them until they were about 4 years old for the boys and 3 years old for Jade. Does that mean there is nothing you can do? No! There are lots of other things you can do. But always keep offering to read to them. You will be surprised when that one day comes when they will let you! And then they will come to love it! And you can cherish those story times too!
Always have books around. If your child is like mine were and absolutely refuses to let you read to them this task is super important! Always have books at their age level available to them. Even if they just flip through the book themselves looking at the pictures. They are still interacting with the books and building a love for the books. Hopefully they will come to let you read to them. But in the meantime they are learning to love reading books in their own way.
In addition; having books around that they can pick up to read whenever they want allows them ample opportunity to learn to love reading books. We recently just cleaned out our books and donated a lot to the Family Crisis Center. But even still we still have multiple book cases filled with books and boxes overflowing with books. It is a weakness of mine! I have a hard time saying no when my kids ask for a book.
Read with Narration and animation! Who enjoys listening to a droning on voice going through a story? Get into the story! Get animated with your eyes, voice, even some actions as you are reading to your children. This will bring the story to life for them. It will make them laugh. It will show them that reading is entertaining. It helps them develop a much needed imagination for when they begin reading stories on their own. They can then create voices and picture the story in their mind easier after having an example of a story brought to life!
Encourage Classics. Often time classic books are classics for a very good reason. Because they are used and loved for years and years by other young readers around the world.
A favorite classic of both mine and many kids is The Boxcar Children. It is celebrating its 70th year of publication and still going strong as a favorite for children and teachers alike. When it comes to advancing your child to chapter books, this is a classic one to begin with! It is fairly easy to read and offers a lot of great adventures for your child. It is excellent for both boys and girls alike; so really you can’t go wrong!
I recently got the Box Car Children box set which includes books 1-4 as well as the prequel book for J, my 9 year old. He devoured them! I’m talking he had all five books read in a month! Talk about a child who loves reading books! He’s also worked his way through over 6 Choose Your Own adventure books in just two months time. And just recently is reading the Percy Jackson Series, and is almost finished with book three in the series in just one and a half months. See what encouraging your child to love reading books can do?
Access to books of their interest. If you remember last Fall I worked along side Champions for Kids and our school principal in support of literacy in our children’s classroom. The principal specifically stated that those children who love to read for entertainment score better on tests and do better in the classroom. His goal for the students is allowing them access to books at school that they can read for enjoyment. Not just assigned classroom books.
It is very important that we allow our children the opportunity to pick out books in their area of interest. My boys love silly books, joke books, science books and anything to do with Lego, Ninjago, Phineas and Ferb and Myth busters. So I let them pick out their books. I encourage and direct if I know of a book I think they may like that they may not know about. But ultimately the choice is left with them.
Reward with Books. Often time we give books to our children as birthday presents, Christmas presents, in Easter Baskets, and as rewards for good behavior. Also when the school book fair comes around I do all I can to ensure we have a little money set aside so I can get the kids at least one book of their choice from the book fair. They see these as extra rewards and they love that they get to pick out the books.
Even little Jade gets new books for her birthday. Her last birthday she got the My Little Pony board book collection. She is also part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library where they send her a new book once a month. And we love it! Check with your local school district to see if they offer the service to your preschool aged children.
Set Reading minutes each day. Our kids are required to read 20 minutes a day. Although the chore is the time; the book is completely up to them. It encourages them to find different books from our collection that they can browse through and read. It sets a time aside to let them dive into reading and experiment with different books. Instead of just always wanting to play video games or watching TV. And many times, once the time limit is finished, my boys don’t want to stop reading. And that is just fine with me. I let them keep reading until I absolutely need them to do their other chores or it’s dinner time.
We also keep an early bedtime in our house. Specifically because they like to read at night before they go to bed. This is in addition to the regular reading time we set aside for the 20 minutes of reading a day. So we do our nightly routine and then they ask every night “Can I read for a while?” How can you say no to that? We tell them that the lights need to be out at 8:30pm so they won’t be tired for school the next day.
More often than not, we will check on them at 9pm and they are still reading. It’s one we laugh about. Because who really wants to punish their child for disobeying them, when the disobedient task is reading a great book? We just gently remind them that it’s time to go to sleep now and they can read more tomorrow. And they do. But we love seeing them love reading books!
The U.S. Department of Education found that, generally, the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores. The higher their reading score, the better they perform in school and in life later on. So we ensure that our kids always have plenty of time to read for enjoyment.
Play reading games. While you are out and about, play a game with written words. Have them pick out different words as you are walking around the store or neighborhood. Or you pick out the words and have the child read them to you. For each word they get right; they get a reward. Maybe a penny. Or a minute on their favorite activity. You want a small reward per word, because they can start to add up fast. But keep the reading game level with the child’s reading level.
Participate in Summer reading programs. Check with your local library. Ours hosts a summer reading program every summer. Each week, if the child meets the reading goals for that week, they earn prizes and treats. Sometimes even coupons for business locations around town. At the end of the summer, if they completed each week they often have a larger prize or drawing for big prizes. This has really helped our kids to love reading books! Sometimes you have to start with an incentive and it grows from there. Our library also has an adult summer reading program. So I can participate as well and show my kids a love for reading by example.
Show by example. If a child sees their parents reading, it gives them a great example to follow. Moreover, if they see their parents reading for fun; they learn to see reading as a fun means of entertainment. My kids know that when Mommy picks up a new book; She’s gone! Haha! But seriously, they see me and their Dad reading for enjoyment all the time. Because we do enjoy it. And that has really helped them learn how to enjoy a great book as well.
These are just a few ideas to help teach children to love reading books. You can find even more ideas from Read aloud. Also if you are looking for more classic books. Be sure to visit Albert Whitman Publishing! They have many classic books that are perfect to help you teach your children to love reading books!
Do you Love reading books?
How do you teach your children to love reading books?