When you raise your child to be a reader, you open them up to exciting possibilities. Reading provides core academic benefits, like improved language and writing skills. It also cultivates creative thinking and mental agility. Reading is a fantastic way for children to escape and explore worlds that otherwise remain beyond their reach. Books help foster empathy by allowing readers to see the world from another’s perspective. They help practice problem-solving as they take in stories with complex characters, storylines, or plot devices. They can also find comfort in knowing that, oftentimes, people encounter similar life events as presented in books. Raising a reader will unlock lifelong learning opportunities for your children. It will ultimately set them up for success down the road where glorious life awaits! But what does it take exactly to raise a reader?
Raising a child who has developed an affinity for books and reading, in general, requires some effort and commitment on your part as a parent. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting. There are plenty of fun and easy ways to get your children enamored with reading. Here are ten things you can do to raise a reader:
Create a special place devoted solely to reading
Creating a special space dedicated to reading is a great way to motivate your child to read more. Creating a comfortable, cozy environment can set the stage for reading. It should be stocked with lots of fun and interesting books, magazines, and other reading materials that your child will love.
Additionally, ensure the area has good lighting so it’s easier for your child’s eyes when they are going through those books! By providing resources and a comfortable environment, you’ll be able to foster enthusiasm in your child for this most worthwhile hobby — one that they can keep up with even as they grow up. Give it a try; you may be surprised by how efficiently and effectively it can raise a reader!
Set an example by reading yourself
If you want to raise a reader, your children must see you enjoying books, too! Make sure they witness firsthand how much pleasure and satisfaction you get from reading, whether fiction or nonfiction. Show them that there is something special about curling up with a good book — and tell them why. They will watch your behavior and naturally pick up on the joy you receive from reading. Setting a positive example of reading can help cement your child’s interest in books over time.
Plan regular trips to the library
One of the best things you can do to create a reader and fan of books is to take your child frequently to visit their local library or bookstore. It is important to build this habit early, while they’re young, so it becomes second nature to pick up books as children grow older. Not only will visiting the library or bookstore ensure easy access to many books at once, but it can also spark great conversations and stoke excitement among children when they see all the different stories around them. There’s nothing else like walking into a place teeming with books for a child to explore! So if you want your child to recognize their potential as a young reader, remember to pay regular visits to your local library or bookstore.
Skip television and video games in favor of reading
The more time your child spends watching TV or playing video games, the less likely they are to read. Instead of allowing them access to these devices, opt for reading instead! Make it fun by adding some elements of competition: create reading challenges, such as seeing who can finish a book first or who can answer questions about what was read most accurately. You could reward your little reader for completing a book or series.
Read aloud daily
Make it a daily habit to read aloud to your children. Think of it as snuggling up with a good book yourself — except you get the bonus of snuggling up with your little one. You’ll both benefit from this activity. Reading enhances kids’ development by introducing them to new vocabulary and providing enrichment for their imagination, and strengthening their bond with you.
When selecting books, pick ones that your children will be excited about! Let them join in the search process and guide you toward stories they’ll enjoy. Make reading time something they look forward to each day. It doesn’t take much — just 30 minutes — but it makes an invaluable contribution to their future success as readers.
Even if your child isn’t old enough for their device, there are plenty of ways you can use technology to foster an interest in reading. There are many different websites and apps available today that offer interactive stories as well as other activities related to raising a reader. Look for activities that help your child practice their phonics, learn new words, and explore the world of literature. You can also find books you can read together online. Reading aloud with technology makes the story more fun and engaging. It’s often less intimidating than putting a physical book in front of your child.
Make up stories together
You don’t need to be an expert storyteller to engage your child in reading! Create stories as a family, or have each person take turns adding one line at a time until you fill up an entire page. Ask questions about what might happen next in the story, come up with alternative endings or create characters for your children to relate to. This is great way to get creative together and instill an appreciation for books.
Start a book club
Who says book clubs are just for adults? Get the whole family involved in one! Set up a monthly or bi-monthly meeting where everyone can come together to talk about what they’ve read, discuss characters, share thoughts on plot twists, and of course, make snacks inspired by the books. It is a great way to turn reading into a social event — and encourage your children to connect with their peers who also love literature. Plus, it gives them something special to look forward to each month.
Let kids pick their own books
It’s important that your child have some autonomy when choosing which books they read. Studies have shown that giving children autonomy when picking out their books can increase the likelihood that they’ll take an interest in the stories and continue to turn pages. It’s a win-win because you still get to provide guidance and ensure that your child’s reading is age-appropriate and appropriate for your family values. Plus, by letting them make their own choice, chances are high that the book will spark their enthusiasm and capture enough of their attention to encouraging a love for reading that could last long into adulthood.
Make connections between books and real life
Help your children connect literature and everyday life. Discuss ways in which characters are similar to people they know or mention how events in stories can be applied to real-world situations. This encourages a deeper understanding of the material and helps kids think more critically about what they’re reading — all of which contribute towards raising a reader.
Reading exposes young children to new vocabulary, provides enrichment for their imagination, and strengthens their bond with you. With these eleven tips for raising a reader, parents can easily turn everyday moments into opportunities for discovering new worlds through literature. These tricks will surely get any young reader off on the right path toward becoming an avid learner!
Here at Young Scholars Academy, we aim to create an engaging learning environment, filled with meaningful fun activities that create such big memories, your kids will happily remember throughout the years! We pride ourselves in the quality of our establishment and maintain an environment that is clean, safe and loving for all. Our classrooms provide every child a place where they can explore, discover and enjoy learning through kinesthetic experiences. Visit us to learn more!