June 8, 2007 3:39 PM
20 ways to encourage reading
- Visit the library. Then read books together with a picnic lunch on a blanket somewhere special.
- Invest in books. Look for lightly-used books at garage sales. Buy inexpensive paperbacks from discount stores.
- Care for books. Teach children to handle books as though they had great value. They do.
- Create a reading nook. Fill a cozy spot with pillows, hang a few small pictures of people reading. Turn down the volume.
- Create a quieter atmosphere. Less TV, radio, and other distractions.
- Give books as gifts. Ask Grandma too! Books are gifts that never stop giving.
- Subscribe to magazines. Your kids will look forward each month to their own. Focus on the Family has great age-appropriate magazines: Clubhouse Jr., Clubhouse, Breakaway (teen boys), Brio (teen girls)
- Pursue special interests through books. A reluctant reader/baseball nut may get turned on reading books on baseball heroes. There are books on every interest under the sun.
- Listen to CDs. To break the TV habit, build a bridge with CDs - Books on Tape or the Focus on the Family Radio Theater or Adventures in Odyssey. Without visual cues, children learn to exercise imagination.
- Introduce series books. Following one or two main characters - like the Hardy Boys - can build a reading habit in an on again/off again reader.
- Watch movies of classics. Watch Les Miserables, Tale of Two Cities, Little Women, Tale of Two Cities, or The Man in the Iron Mask - then give the book to your child to read (abridged versions for younger readers).
- Visit bookstores. Many bookstores are very child-friendly, with inviting sections for children.
- Attend a book signing. Check local bookstores for upcoming readings by children's authors. Buy a copy and get it autographed.
- Tolerate comic books. As long as they're decent, comic books are okay to encourage kids who might not otherwise read. My kids loved the Read 'n Grow Picture Bible and TinTin books, which have pages of cartoon panels.
- Publish your child's book. Help your child write and illustrate his own book. Show how to make a cover and cover page, with author, date, and city. Print on the computer and distribute copies to friends and family.
- Give her a diary. Teach your child how to journal, including reading back over what she has written.
- Set the pace. As your child takes on longer books, review them with him first for total pages - then set a daily goal and target date to finish
- Read aloud. No child is too old to be read to. Choose a rich book like David Copperfield - it's most stimulating to read several notches above your child's own reading level.
- Read together. Take turns reading - plays and skits are great fun for families.
- Read yourself. You are his true hero. Make reading a priority and your kids most likely will too!
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I was glad to see you mention audio books. My girls struggle with reading (a LD that I refuse to label) We us Audible audio books that they can put on their MP3 players.
It really does seem to help "train" their brains to form the pictures to go with the words when they aren't struggling to read the words themselves.
And lo and behold, they started picking up "real" books too!
Posted by: whimsy | June 9, 2007 9:01 AM
My mom couldn't get us to STOP reading! Literature was the favorite subject in our homeschool. We would read through our reading books, literature books, and the books we read for history as fast as she would let us. And of course we constantly had this interaction... "Get out of the bathroom!" "Okay!" *pause* "Are you reading in there?" *shuffle to hide book* "No!"
Posted by: Becky Miller | June 9, 2007 10:02 AM
Thanks for your great post--and the whole website!
I have two questions, one related to this post and one related to previous posts.
1) In terms of 'caring' for the books, number 3 on your list. My daughter is 6 months old--so far I've been giving her a foam book to handle while I read from another book. At her age, though, that means the book promptly goes into her mouth. I thought I read somewhere that allowing kids to chew/handle/etc gets them more comfortable with the books, but I can't say that chewing on this book is teaching her to care for it. How do I balance those two needs?
2) I'm planning on following your idea of hanging up some art at her level, since she's going to be crawling soon and toddling soon after! I'm a little worried about if she knocks down the frames, though. Did you ever have a problem with kids getting hurt with low posted art?
Posted by: Misty | June 9, 2007 3:55 PM
At bedtime, tell the kids they have to go sleep, or they can read just one book.
They'll find they much prefer to read!
Posted by: Marie | June 9, 2007 4:36 PM
I grew up with my mother reading to me in bed. I camt wait until I can snuggle under the covers and read to my kids....I already read to them but they like to EAT the book :)
Posted by: Shannon Best | June 9, 2007 9:41 PM
and speaking of reading -- i am REALLY enjoying your book, "mommylife"! THANKS!!!
Posted by: Ruth | June 10, 2007 8:38 AM
A wonderful list! We do many of those things, but can add even more to our routine.
Posted by: Christine | June 10, 2007 8:46 PM
Great post! Thanks for the list. I wish I had had this in my classroom when I was teaching. I think I'll print it now for the home. :
Posted by: Sharon | June 12, 2007 11:49 AM