Reading is among the most important skills we can teach our children, boasting numerous benefits for both learning and development. But getting your child to enjoy reading can sometimes be a struggle. Here are 10 tips to encourage your child and transform even the most reluctant readers into burgeoning bookworms.
1. Make a Routine
Setting aside some time each day, even if it is just 10 minutes, will forge a reading habit that could potentially last a lifetime. Set aside a time where you will both be able to relax, such as before bed – short story collections are a great way to keep the routine going on days where you are short on time.
2. Let your Child Choose
Children are far more inclined to read about something that interests them, whether it’s fairy tales, adventure stories, or even non-fiction books. By letting them choose you are helping your child develop their own interests and building excitement around reading time.
3. Lead by Example
Reading in front of your child, even if it’s just browsing the morning news, helps to foster the idea of reading as an enjoyable part of everyday life. Do this enough and your child will likely want to follow suit. Once your child is old enough to read alone, why not take the time to dip into your own book nearby, so you can share the experience together.
4. Use your Voice
When reading together, try using different voices for different characters in the book. Not only will this help your child imagine the characters coming to life, but it will ensure that their attention stays firmly on the story. As well as distinguishing between characters, you can use your voice build suspense or even denote changes in tone.
5. Ask Questions
Asking questions while you read will keep your child interested as well as improving their reading comprehension. Ask them what they think will happen next, or how they think a certain character might be feeling. Questions help to make reading a more interactive experience and can give you insight on how much your child is taking in.
6. Be Patient
Children often want to read the same books again and again, but it’s important that you don’t show any signs of frustration. Repetitive reading helps to build your child’s confidence with words, and also helps to reinforce their vocabulary.
7. Get Comfortable
Create positive associations with reading by snuggling up on the sofa or in bed before lights out. A comfortable environment signals to your child that it’s time to unwind, and makes your reading time together a daily treat to look forward to.
8. Take Turns
Taking turns with your child to read pages or paragraphs is another way to share the experience and can help reinforce words your child struggles to read. To help build up confidence, you can even try reading aloud simultaneously, then gradually transition to taking turns with each page.
9. Show an Interest
Be sure to give positive feedback when your child puts forward an effort to read, as this will encourage them to continue. Ask them what they are reading at school, and tell them about books that you have enjoyed – having books be a regular topic of conversation is a surefire way to help keep them interested.
10. Take Advantage of Technology
Using an e-reader is another great way to build excitement around books, and has the benefit of a built-in dictionary, as well as the ability to change the font size to best suit your child. The lure of technology can be enough to pique the interest of even the most reluctant readers.