Encouraging children to read can be challenging, especially with the rise of all things digital. We know all too well that trying to get kids to swap the TV for a good book isn’t easy. However, with reading being essential when it comes to education and academic success, the ability to read for pleasure can bring a whole host of benefits for kids as they go through school. In fact, a study found that students that read for pleasure not only performed better in literacy but maths too! Here are some tips for parents to try this summer to help encourage your kids to develop good reading habits that last a lifetime.
Let Your Kids Choose Their Books
One of the most important things to remember is that reading should be an enjoyable experience for your child. That’s why letting your kids choose the books they want to read is so important, as they can find stories or genres that interest them specifically. By giving them free choices with their reading material, regardless of whether it’s a fact or fiction book, comic or magazine- they’re much more likely to be engaged with what they’re reading and to eventually become life-long readers! If you’re concerned about finding the right reading level, it may be a good idea to find an age specific section in a book shop or library for them to choose from.
Visit The Library Regularly
The library is a great place for children to explore new books and authors for free. It gives them a huge variety of genres to choose from, which will help make it much more exciting when it comes to choosing which books to take home. You can even let your child take out their own library card, meaning they can check out books independently for pleasure and for school work too. It’s also a good idea to check what activities your library has to offer- many host weekly story hours, summer reading challenges or literacy programmes for kids to get involved in. Getting your kids to take part throughout the summer holidays could be a great way for them to start developing good reading habits and seeing other kids doing the same thing too!
Make Reading A Daily Habit
Making reading a daily habit can do wonders for reluctant readers. In fact, establishing a specific time each day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, will be hugely beneficial. Not only will they get used to regular reading, often if your child is reading something enjoyable, they’ll end up reading for much longer than 15 minutes, just so they can find out what happens next!
Read In Front Of Your Kids
Whether you love books, magazines, or catching up with the daily newspaper, it’s so important for your child to see you reading, especially as kids learn from what they observe. If your child sees that you’re excited about reading, they’re much more likely to catch your enthusiasm and want to read too.
Create a Reading Nook
Having a reading nook in your house, free from digital distractions, is going to make reading time much more inviting for your kids. It certainly doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just somewhere cosy and inspiring- whether there’s a shelf full of books or a comfy seat, it will help your child connect reading with comfort!
Re-Read Favourite Books
If your child has a few favourite books, encourage them to take the time to re-read them over the summer break. Not only are kids great at spotting things they missed the first time, they may even find they recognise more vocabulary in the book than when they read it the first time and understand parts of the story they didn’t before. Re-reading also gives them the chance to enjoy the book again and indulge in the process of reading. This can really encourage positive reading habits and help develop a love for reading.
Show An Interest In Your Child’s Reading
Finally, your kids are going to be much more motivated to read if they have someone to share the stories they’re reading with. That’s why it’s so important for parents to show an active interest by taking time to ask them what the story is about, who their favourite character is and what they think is going to happen in the rest of the book. This will really help transform reading into a much more interesting experience as they get to discuss the storyline aloud and really understand what’s happening and more importantly why.