Here are eight ideas sure to make reading more enjoyable for your kids.
1. Give them a choice of what to read.
Most of a child’s day is filled with adults telling them what to do and when to do it. Give your child some control back by letting him or her select the books he or she wants to read. If he or she is a new reader, you or their teacher may need to help him or her find a book that is at his or her reading level and choose from those specific choices.
2. Remember that “fun” books count, too.
Kids love to read more than only chapter books. Get your kids reading a variety of materials such as graphic novels, cookbooks, joke books, fact books, magazines, blogs, eBooks, and the newspaper. Every little bit of reading helps!
3. Read aloud to them.
Research tells us that reading aloud to your kids is the most important thing you can do as a parent to raise a strong reader. But more than that, if your child is struggling with an assigned book for school, take turns reading the book with him or her. It will make the process more enjoyable. Stop and talk about new words or confusing parts to help strengthen their skills.
4. Let your kids fill up a book bag at the library.
Bring a large tote bag to the library and challenge your child to find interesting books to read that will fill up the ENTIRE bag. Why? He or she will be so excited for the process of discovering books, as well as reading them cover-to-cover when they get home.
5. Create a cozy reading space with good lighting and comfortable seating.
A special reading spot can be very enticing to a child. You don’t need anything fancy, just a few pillows and a lamp. Consider adding a bookshelf or carton of books nearby.
6. Listen to audiobooks in the car.
If you’re like most of us, you spend a lot of time in the car. Get your kids hooked on an author or book series by listen to the story on audiobook in the car. Watch to see how many times your children won’t want to get out of the car because it’s such a good part!
7. Buy a book light or head lamp for your kids to read in their beds.
Start your kids to bed a bit earlier so you can allow them to read in bed — it seems a bit like breaking the rules for them and is thus, very fun. Headlamps work best for my kids — no worry about turning the page and moving the book lamp. My kids also prefer headlamps because they have a wider range of light.
8. Make sure you have plenty of books around.
Lastly, it’s so important to have enough books so that your child always has reading material. It seems obvious, but it’s very important. Use your library or yard sales to make this possible without spending a fortune. (Although, I would argue the fortune is for a good cause!)
You know your child the best. Think about what motivates him or her and use it to help make reading more fun whether through rewards or activities you do with reading.
Mark B. Kance, M.A.T. is the Executive Director at the Hamilton Township Sylvan Learning in Hamilton New Jersey. Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels with more than 30 years of experience and nearly 800 centers located throughout North America. Sylvan's trained and Sylvan-certified instructors provide personalized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan also hosts MomMinded.com, a blog offering tips and resources from moms and education experts. For more information, call 1-800-31-SUCCESS or visit www.SylvanLearning.com.