How to Raise a Reader

Feb 10th 2016

Family reading a book together

Lay a foundation for your child’s success in school and in life

Reading is known to have tremendous benefits for children, and childhood is an important time for children to grow these necessary skills. As you know, it’s critical to set the foundation of literacy at a young age. Doing so will facilitate their ability to effectively learn and communicate throughout their lifetime. However, raising your child to be a reader won’t just set them up for success throughout life — it will also teach them to be imaginative, creative, and inventive.

Follow these tips to raise a little reader in your life:

1. Read to them

Your kids look up to you. You’re where they draw their inspiration to learn and grow, which is why it’s important to showcase your interest in books and learning by reading to them regularly. When they see how much you value reading, they’ll grow to love it as well. Kids are more likely to love reading when they’re taught to love it. Starting at a young age is a great way to get them involved in the habit.

If your kids are a bit older — past pre-k and kindergarten — it’s still not too late to pick up the habit of reading together. It only takes 21 days to make a habit, so if you get started reading with your kids today, it’ll take just three easy weeks to make it a regular practice! Set up a daily or even weekly story time after school or just before bed. Doing so might even help them get sleepy enough for bed!

2. Practice together

You can’t just read to your children; you need to read with your kids. Some children need a little extra push to learn to love reading, but giving them the responsibility to participate might be just the push they need. Encourage your children to read out loud to you and practice with you each time you have a book open together.

3. Get them involved in a book club

The benefits of a book club are endless. Not only is it a great place for your child to meet other kids, but it’s the perfect way to get them excited about books in a new way they’ve never experienced before. Whether that means you’re hosting a children’s book club at your home or sending them off to the library with their school friends, enrolling your children in a book club will help them gain a new passion and respect for reading.

4. Encourage them to express themselves through writing

After all, those who love to read often love to write — and vice versa! Writers are always looking for ways to improve their skills and creativity, while readers are always conjuring up creative ideas they want to get out on paper. Getting your kids started with both reading and writing at a young age will set a long-lasting literary love affair.

5. Reward them for reading

Keep tallies of books your little ones are reading, both in and out of school. Motivate your kids to love reading by setting goals and rewarding them with special treats and prizes. Whether it’s an exciting new toy, a special dinner, or extra outdoor play time after school, they’ll be happy to open those books to absorb all the stories within.

6. Get out and play!

Believe it or not, playing is great for the imagination. After all, there’s a reason kids have recess scheduled into their daily routines. It gets their energy out, allows them to be creative, and helps them get ready to settle down to focus on the most important activities. Go out for a good jump on your trampoline and then settle in for story time! You won’t regret it.