Getting Your Kids To Love Reading

Getting your children to love reading is not something that just happens, but by following these simple steps, you will be well on your way.

Teaching your children to love reading is no simple task, but one that is vital to their education. Many schools go by the philosophy that from Kindergarten to second grade, kids should learn to read, and from third grade on they should read to learn. If your child does not have a solid foundation in reading by the time that they complete the second grade, they are setting themselves up for difficulty in the years ahead.

So what can you, as a parent, do? Probably the most important thing that you can do to help your children enjoy reading is to turn off the television. Too radical? I don’t think so. Let your child enjoy his favorite TV shows, but he doesn’t need to park himself in front of the TV all evening. Once the TV is off, he will begin looking for other things to do.

Does he have a library card? Do you? One of the biggest thrills to a child is going to the library and picking out books for themselves. At this point don’t worry if the book seems ridiculously simple, or too difficult (as long as you are comfortable with the material). If it is too simple, they will realize that, and get more difficult ones the next time, as their confidence grows. If it is too difficult, make time to read it aloud.

That brings us to our next point, which is to read aloud to your child, every day if you can manage it. As a rule, you should read books that are a grade or two above what your child can read on his own. This helps to develop comprehension skills, important in understanding what he has read. Let him decide what to read sometimes, and sometimes you decide. Part of the wonder of reading is that you learn about and enjoy things you never would have imagined. To facilitate this, leave a variety of (appropriate) reading materials available.

The newspaper, magazines, the back of the cereal box, they all offer the opportunity to expand his repertoire. Take advantage of the book sales that many schools have. This is an easy and inexpensive way to add to your home library. The books are already divided by grade level, and you can many times get two books for fewer than five dollars. Encourage dialog on reading.

What book is he reading now? Who is the main character? Why did he choose that book?

Remember it is not your job to teach your child to read, that is something his teacher will do. Your job is to provide him with the desire and opportunities to become an enthusiastic reader.

Some popular titles for beginner readers are:

Little Critter
Berenstain Bears
Magic Schoolbus
Nate the Great

And some books that you may enjoy reading aloud are:

The Chronicles of Narnia
Encyclopedia Brown

All of these are series books, which children this age seem to enjoy. They do however “stand alone”, and do not need to be read in any certain order.

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