It’s no surprise that encouraging your children to read is challenging. Oftentimes, your children come home from school and are exhausted, naturally. We’re also tired after a long day of work and tasks, so it’s no shock that our children find themselves feeling the same way.
Additionally, the challenge of getting your children to read can be due to how full their schedules are. Perhaps they have after-school activities and social lives. Maybe their free time to read is very limited.
However, reading is equally as important as their after-school activities and social lives. Each of these plays a very vital role in their development. So how can you get your children to pick up a book more often?
Share Reading Responsibilities.
Shared reading is a great way to introduce routine reading habits to your kids! This is where your child reads a section of a book or a story, and then you read a section. Ideally, you’ll share the content until the story or book is finished.
Shared reading plays a significant role in your child’s confidence level for reading orally. Even silent reading confidence can be boosted after shared reading, because your child, from experience, feels more confident in their own abilities to follow the story. This is a gentle technique used for kids who struggle with reading. If your child struggles with sight words or pronunciation, they will be able to follow along with you while you read and associate what you’re reading with the words.
The ability to read orally is important for school-aged children. However, a child’s fear of oral reading will interfere with their ability to comprehend a story. So, allow your child to break from oral reading in order to listen so they can also develop their listening and story comprehension.
Make Reading a Nightly Routine.
Nightly routines are good for many reasons: they provide your family with a sense of predictability and safety, they allow your child to anticipate bedtime, which will then help them to relax and wind down, they allow your children to see how seamless operating on a schedule is, and they allow the family a needed peace of mind.
This time also makes it fun for them to find their own space and to veg out independently of other family members. It may seem like the easiest way to veg out and mentally escape is by watching a movie or streaming videos, but studies actually show that screentime makes your brain more alert.
Reading, on the other hand, takes your imagination to a whole new place and offers the reader time to relax and focus on other characters and events, all while developing brain connectivity.
Avoid Using Reading as a Form of Punishment.
Teaching your children to read should always be presented in a positive light. This is because their cognitive skills are literally dependent on their ability to read and comprehend what they’re reading, and doing so under an umbrella of positivity will help guide them to where they need to be.
Using reading as punishment only serves as a reason for your children to dislike it more than ever. If your child begins to associate reading with punishments, then how can they feel excited about it? Reading should be associated with imagination, learning, and escape.
Set the Example.
A child will follow in your footsteps when they see how much you enjoy reading. Even if reading takes up a lot of time you may feel you don’t have to dedicate, it’s important to show your child how easy it is for you to implement what you’re trying to instill in them. Making time to even read five pages per day will set the example. Just like the saying “show me, don’t tell me,” a child will follow your lead when he sees how you yourself enjoy reading.
About the Author:
The Homefaker’s Homestead is a lifestyle blog that teaches rising homemakers and homesteaders efficient tips, tricks, and hacks for becoming the best version of themselves. The Homefaker’s Homestead relates to the self-taught person who is a self-starter and who desires to learn more about homemaking, homesteading, saving money, parenting, and everything else in between.