By Georgia Lohan
You know just how important it is to teach your child to read. Reading helps your child develop their creativity and imagination. It also helps them learn to handle their emotions and how to relate to other people. But, what if your child doesn’t enjoy reading? It’s not fun to read when your child is constantly fighting you on wanting to do it.
Here are 6 things that you can do to help your child learn to love reading:
1. Make it part of their routine
A great way to get your child to love reading is to start early. If you build reading into their daily routine they will grow up with it being natural. If you haven’t gotten off to the best start, it’s not too late. Start adding a story into their bedtime routine each day. If your children are a little older encourage them to start the day looking at books before getting out of bed. As it becomes more of a routine they will begin to look forward to it.
2. Teach them to read early
Encourage your child to learn how to read. Children love being able to do things on their own. There are many great resources, such as Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to help your child learn to read. The practice can take a lot of patience but is a great way to build a love for reading in your child.
3. Let them choose the book
I’m guessing you enjoy reading more when it’s a book that you have chosen to read. Can you imagine if someone else was always choosing what books you had to read or listen to? It would probably quickly tire you out and your child is no different. If you want them to enjoy story time let them be a part of the process. This is easy to do. You can let them pick the book off the shelf at home, take them to the library, or let them choose the fairytale from Rafael the Unicorn.
4. Make the story exciting
You can add a lot of excitement and anticipation to story time with your delivery as you read. You can use funny voices, pause to build suspense, or add other sound effects. If you just read the book in a monotone voice your children will become bored. That’s the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you want your child to love reading.
If your child is old enough to read then you can have fun by acting out the story. The whole family can read the story together with each family member taking a different character role in the book.
5. Talk about books
If you want reading to be something that your children are excited to do instead of feeling like they “have to” do it, then make books part of your daily life. Discuss what books you are reading around the dinner table. You can ask questions about the books your child is reading at school. Try asking them what their favorite part is. Or, you can ask them to give you an idea for an alternate ending. Discuss the different types of books and make sure your child is engaging in the conversation.
6. Make a reading chart
If your child is motivated by rewards a reading chart can be a great way to encourage them to read. They can track the number of books that they are reading and receive a small reward every time they have read a certain number of books. You could do this as a sticker chart that you hang on the wall or a paper chain where your child adds a new link for every book that they read.
Teaching a child to love reading does not necessarily happen overnight, especially if you are getting a late start. But, the work is always worth it. Reading with your child is a great way to bond with them as you help them develop a skill they can use for the rest of their life.