Countless studies have shown that children who learn to read earlier perform better during their entire school career. As any parent knows, however, it can be difficult to encourage children to read without making it seem like a chore. Follow these tricks to make reading an exciting part of your child’s life instead of a boring task to be completed before bedtime.
Encourage them to read everything.
Allow your children to explore reading in different contexts by encouraging them to read not only books and stories, but anything else they can find. Ask them to read street signs, restaurants menus, board game instructions, and daily weather reports. Show them that reading is a part of daily life, and point out these opportunities to read with them as you go about your day.
Read to them daily.
Another part of making reading common place in your home is reading stories to them every day. Make literature an important part of your routine, and your children will come to expect it. Allow your child to sit on your lap and follow along with the story to give them an active part of the reading process. Don’t forget to make the stories exciting by using inflection and giving each character a unique voice. The more adventure your child can sense in reading, the more they will want to read themselves. This concept is generally used among professionals in the industry. For more help, you can consult a professional with a Masters in Library and Information Science (or even look into getting your own degree online).
Use technology to your advantage.
Instead of banning the use of tablets or smartphones, let your child use them to practice their reading skills. E-books or online articles are available for children, and you can even download reading apps for them to practice independently. There are specific settings you can choose to give your child access to age-appropriate reading games. If using a tablet is a special treat, they will start to look forward to it and enjoy reading more as a result.
Create a visible record of their reading successes.
No child can resist the beloved sticker chart, so create a similar physical reminder of your child’s reading success. Give them a sticker to place on the chart each time they finish a book on their own, and give them the chance to earn rewards when they reach certain goals. They can earn new books, a special treat, a meal at their favorite restaurant, or anything else that will get them excited about earning stickers.
Use these tricks to make reading a part of your child’s daily life and get them excited about reading on their own. Soon enough, they’ll be reading independently and you’ll see them succeed in school.