Reading books is a huge part of my family culture and this is not because I am an unapologetic bookworm. My kids love reading books as a result of my constant commitment to deliberately encourage and motivate them to read. This is not easy sometimes as you have to literally fight a never ending war with TV, Netflix and different games on their tablets but from my experience, perseverance pays.
Here are 7 easy ways that have helped my kids love reading and I believe they will help your kids too.
Introduce reading to your kids as early as possible. It is never too early to start. Even when you are pregnant, you can read aloud to your unborn baby but if you think it seems weird, wait until your baby is born then read to your child. Little baby picture books are usually ideal at this stage as part of play time and as your baby grows older he will see books as part of his life
2. Read to your kids
Reading bedtime stories to your kids is also another way to spur their love for reading and books. When kids discover the beauty of story telling and all the adventures stored up in books, they will always look forward to the times you have set aside for reading everyday.
3. Practice what you preach
The easiest way to teach someone a skill is to show them. You can not encourage your kids to love reading when you spend a lot of your time watching TV or playing games on your phone. Our children always watch what we do and copy. So if you really want your kids to love reading, then you have to put in some reading time into your schedule and make sure they see you read.
4. Fit in a reading corner or mini library in your home
Set up a reading corner or a mini library somewhere in your home where your kids can go and either sit and read or just select books they would like to read. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. This helps to organize all the books you buy for them so that they can always find their favorite titles without a hassle.
5. Minimize Technology
In this age of 24 hours TV, video games, Netflix, etc the list is unending. It is more difficult to get your kids reading as all these entertainment options can be distracting. The good news is, you are the parent and you can control the use of other forms of media in your home. For instance, my kids are not allowed to watch TV or use their tablets on school days. This leaves them with fewer options like reading a book, working on puzzles or out door play.
6. Have a reading plan
Planning is key when you want to achieve positive results. You can start by buying a set of books and decide that your kids would read one book every week or every month. Setting up this kind of plan helps your kids to focus and may motivate them to read more books. You can also throw in a reward for completing a certain number of books within a stipulated time frame to encourage them more.
7. Enroll them in a book club
Book clubs also encourage kids to love reading as they would meet with other kids who are also learning to love books and reading. Book clubs also give structure to your kids’ reading and will definitely add value to enable them cultivate a reading culture.
Please note that the above listed tips do not have to be done l at the same time but at different ages or periods.
I hope this will help you and your kids!