Parenting Vivian | 26 Dec 2010 12:26 pm

How to Encourage Kids to Read

In over twenty years as a teacher the number one question parents asked about most was How To Encourage Kids To Read. This is a problem that most parents face at one time or another. My advice to the parents was always the same.

5 Valuable Tips for Encouraging Reading:

1.Modeling: From an early age children watch and learn behaviors from their parents. They want to do what you are doing. So if they see you reading, then that will spark an interest in them too. Plant the seed of becoming a lifelong learner in your child by showing them how much you enjoy reading yourself.
2.Make Reading Fun: What are your child’s interests? Use these interests to foster a desire to want to learn more. Make a game of reading. When a child sees reading as entertainment as opposed to a chore they will be more encouraged to read.
3.Start a Word List: Children will come across words that they don’t know either when they are reading by themselves or when you are reading to them. Create your own “dictionary” of these words. Have the children write them down in a special journal or notebook. Then look up the meaning of the word with your children. Don’t just tell the kids what the word means; give them the resource to find it for themselves. This promotes more reading, better comprehension and a thirst for greater knowledge.
4.Praise: This is the one thing I cannot emphasis enough. When a child believes that they are doing a good job and pleasing you then they will continue the process. Who doesn’t like praise? With a child learning to read it is incredibly important to tell them how proud you are of them and how smart you think they are. Instill this with your children from the start it will promote the idea of becoming a life long learner.
5.Reward: Want your child to read more? Give them books as a reward. A magazine subscription is another good idea. Even comic books will work, it’s still reading isn’t it? Take a trip to the local library or bookstore and let them pick out something to read. Spark their interest and curiosity and you will have them hooked!

Daily Activities To Encourage Reading

Statistics show that the more you and your children participate in reading activities together the chances are better that your children will achieve more in school and will increase the likelihood of the desired outcome of becoming lifelong learners.

Follow these simple suggestions:

昄et your children see you reading
昍ead to your children
旽ave your children read to you
旸iscuss what is being read to check for comprehension
昒se tone and animation in your voice when reading to your child; make the story come alive for the children
昉raise your child for their reading efforts
昁eep reading materials available – books, magazines, newspapers, dictionaries, a thesaurus
昅ake a Reward Chart – Write down what your child is reading on chart; when they finish put a star by the title. Choose an amount to receive a reward:
5 stars = Reward

Summing Things Up

As an educator myself I have used these recommendations for my students and the children in my own life. They work and you can use them too when you are faced with How To Encourage Kids To Read.
Try them out for yourself and see if you agree with me.

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