Getting your children to crack open a book and enjoy reading can seem a lot like pulling teeth. More and more, children are disenchanted by getting lost in different stories, instead reaching for the TV remote or just about any other screen. However, reading is important, especially with secondary school children now more than three years behind in their forecasted reading abilities.
Not only does regular reading improve literary skills, though. Stories can also assist in helping a child to empathise and relate to other people on an emotional level. However, from the texts you choose to how you dedicate time to reading, with these easy to execute tips, it won’t be long before your child has their nose stuck in a book.
Create a Rewarding System
There’s little that can get a child more excited than filling up a sticker chart with gold stars. You may have adopted this method for potty training. Well, now it’s time to dig out the stickers and chocolate buttons again. However you decide to make it work, positive reinforcement is a great way to get children behind your new plan. Whether they get a treat for finishing a whole book or sitting down quietly to read for half an hour. Knowing they’re getting some kind of treat at the end will encourage them to read and, fingers crossed, over time they’ll be doing it by choice.
Read Together as a Whole Family
Reading as a family can look different from family to family. Whether you’re assisting your child through a book, an older sibling is reading to their younger brother or sister, or you’re both making the time to sit and read your respective books. No matter what you do to read together as a family, it’s making happy associations with the act of reading and making your child feel more inclined to do so. For the busy parent, it’s also a great way to have that all-important quality time together which will mean the world to your child.
Let Them Help Buy What They Want to Read
If your child is addicted to the screen, this is the perfect way to productively offer them some screen time. Whether on your phone, a tablet or computer, you can scroll endlessly through retailers like The Works and the Book People, both of whom have great deals on popular collections like Harry Potter, Enid Blyton and more. Check in with My Favourite Voucher Codes and you can even make the most of their regular 24 hour voucher codes with up to 20% in savings. It’s a win win situation, allowing your child to pick out what they’d like to read – even if it is just the novelty of their parents actually being happy for them to have their eyes glued to the screen.
Go to the Library
Whilst shopping online is great for building your collection and getting them involved, going to the library is also brilliant in allowing your child to be around books and pick out ones that interest them. Make an adventure out of going to the library and those parenting woes easier. Offer the library trip up as a consolation for having to pop into the shops for those foodie bits. With the thought of going to the library at the end, they may be less inclined to kick off – maybe. The library allows a huge variety of books that they can rifle through and ultimately pick out what they think looks good. Especially if they do really begin to get into their reading, it’s a far cheaper alternative than buying lots of books and is a great afternoon activity on a rainy day.
Choose Based on Film and TV
Focusing books around your child’s interests is a great way to get them reaching to turn the pages. From animals to dinosaurs. Linking texts to films and TV shows is another one to consider. Whether you buy the book and watch the film version after as a reward, or you buy books with side stories to their favourite programs. You may even find they’re interested in reading the book having already seen the film. It comes down to how your child works, similar to children being more interested in a film if they’ve already heard the music or songs in it.
Introduce to Their Bedtime Routine
What could be better to a child than putting off bedtime for at least ten more minutes? It’s basically their dream come true. Not only will they be enthused to stay up a bit longer, it’s also great for squeezing in more quality time together, no matter who is doing the actual reading. Give them the excitement of picking out a book every night and depending on their reading abilities, you can either read to them or they can read to you. This is also a great thing to do with newborns, starting them off early and helping to improve their development. If nothing else, they’ll be comforted by your voice.
Try Different Types of Text
If they’re really not interested in picking up a book, consider the fact they might be daunted by how long it looks, or they simply might not be interested at all. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other reading options to get them excited. If they’re interested in sports, why not get a newspaper once a week and go through the sports section together. Alternatively, treat them to comics and other kids magazines. By reading smaller amounts of text, this could very well boost their confidence to read longer pieces of writing and work up to books. At the least, it’ll get them reading on a more regular basis.
Whilst reading might not be a favourite pastime for everyone, it is is key to their education that they continue to hit their expected reading ability as they get older. By encouraging reading in your child, they’ll be more used to reading bits of text and will grow in confidence. From inhaling the entirety of the Harry Potter series to reading out the shopping list.
What are your tips for encouraging your child to read? I’d loved to know!