The best way to forge a positive relationship with reading for your child is to help encourage a love for reading. A love of reading is a love of learning, and it is not only linked to better academic success and performance, but it can also lead to a more fulfilling life, overall.
Make reading a part of your lives. Making something a habit is one thing, and it can certainly help. If you schedule in some nightly story time every day, you can certainly make reading a part of your child’s life. It can help reading feel like a normal part of the day instead of an extraneous activity that they may or may not feel like doing. Setting aside time to read can differ from family to family depending on their schedule and their preferences, so find a time that works for you and make it stick!
Let them see you read, too. Reading with your child is one thing, but it helps if they see you read on your own, too. Children learn a lot by seeing, therefore, you’ll notice that they will take after you by repeating certain mannerisms, using certain words, and wanting to do all of the things that you do. Making reading a part of your life can help you build your own positive habits but it can help send a positive message to your kids, as well.
Books, books, books! Populating your home with books and other sorts of reading material is also a good way to encourage reading. Having a variety of books, magazines, coffee table books, comics, etc. can help further drive the notion that reading is a part of life and it is more likely to become a part of your child’s life, too. Even if they simply peruse catalogs or look through classics, having books around can work wonders. In addition to books around the house, also try to give your child a little library of their own.
Personalize their books. Make them the star. When populating your child’s own personal library, consider getting personalized books as well. Personalized books include your child’s name, and sometimes other attributes, in order to create a unique story where they are at the center of all the action. Personalized books, like those we publish, can help make your child’s library feel more like their own, and they can help make books and reading more of a personal experience, too. Personalized books are great for kids who may be reluctant readers, but once they hear that they are the hero, they will be much more inclined to want to find out more!
Get graphic. Graphic novels and comics have come a long way, and nowadays there are plenty of critically acclaimed works that adults are scrambling to get their hands on. Comics and graphic novels can be a great gateway to reading for kids who may be reluctant to read, kids who may have issues with reading because of a reading disability like dyslexia, or even children who have difficulties imagining abstract concepts because of another learning disability. Images and dynamic scenes play out across the pages and can help instill interest in kids of all kinds.
Let them get the pick of the week. Kids may not always like what they’re reading in school, especially if it is for a project or an assignment. There may be a number of different reasons as to why this is, but many children might feel turned off because of the link to school and homework specifically. Remember to let your kids pick out what they want to read every once in awhile. Give them some space and freedom to broaden their horizons and pique their own sense of curiosity whether they are looking for a book to read for fun or a book to share with you at story time.
Consider tablets and other formats. With apps and games becoming increasingly popular, as well as general mobile-device usage, kids may also have fun playing around with ebooks. Ebooks can sometimes be interactive as well, including game-like aspects and illustrations that can further help interest them in the story they’re reading.
Give them incentives. You might feel like bribing them, but after a while kids may begin to continue reading on their own without any idea of a reward. Let them stay up later to read, offer to buy them books or take them to parks and other places that are near the library, etc. You can try rewarding them for reading books, however, making it seem like more of an accomplishment when they do can help to instill a feeling of satisfaction on their own that can drive their interest and keep it going the more they read.
Make reading a special treat, too. Making reading an everyday thing is important, but it can be special, too. Try making a dedicated reading nook in your home or in your child’s room to help encourage them to use the space. You can also make family outings of going to the bookstore or to the library to get new books a special gift.
Let them work at their own pace. Whether your child wants to eat up books or take them in slowly, make sure that you still respect their wishes. Instilling an interest in books and encouraging them to do so is important, and it can work – as long as you don’t push them too hard and allow them to soak stories in at their own pace.