Books have always been an important part of my kids’ lives. They can be fun, teach important skills, or take them to places they have never been. Reading has helped my kids grow in so many ways! There are a lot of things that we have done to get our kids reading. Here are a few.
Be an example of a reader. As a young mom I wasn’t much of a reader but being a school teacher, I owned tons of books! Luckily for me, I had a neighbor that was an avid reader and recommended some fun books she thought I would like. It hooked me in and I started reading. Then we started a book club in our area. This got me reading more challenging books and different genres. Then I discovered audio books. I am in heaven. I love to listen while I am doing chores or other household jobs. It makes the job go by much faster! My favorite reading spot is on vacation when I can kick back, be lazy and enjoy reading!
My husband has always been a reader. As a teen, he would play basketball or read. I always laugh when he uses a big word and the kids don’t know what it means. He still gets some reading time in later in the evenings when everyone else goes to bed and he can relax and read a book. There is truly something powerful about your kids seeing you immersed in a book.
Introduce them to books very early on. It is so important that babies have experiences with books. I loved cloth books, texture books, plastic books, contrast books, and board books for my kids. Start by letting them just hold them and play with them and slobber all over them. As they started to get a little older, I started to read to them…just simple words and pointing at pictures like: cat, House, etc. As they get older, I found books with simple sentences. I love to make the animal sounds or silly voices as I read. Make it a positive experience for them. One of my kids all time favorite books is “Red Hat, Blue Hat”.
Read to your kids. I cannot tell you how much this helps them love reading! Right before bedtime is a great time to help settle them down. Find books that are about a favorite character or object. My son liked bears so we had lots of books about bears. My daughters had lots of princess books. One of my favorite books to read to young kids is “A Fly Went By.” I started reading it to my nieces and nephews and later to my own kids. My husband read a lot of short “Encyclopedia Brown” stories to my kids. They loved figuring out the mysteries! Christmas books were another fun tradition!
Have them read to you. We loved starting with simple sight words books then on to I can Read books. The goal is to transition from you reading it to them reading it. You can read one side and have them read the other. Or alternate paragraphs. Try whatever will work and not frustrate them too much.
Get kids books of their own. Owning their own books seems to increase their love of books! Get an inexpensive bookshelf for each of them. We like to go to the library sales when the books are $0.10 or to yard sales or thrift stores. We rarely buy new books unless it is a special new release in a series they love or for a birthday gift. My son has 3 book shelves and created a little reading nook. He loves it down there and has organized all of his books. Sometimes we buy books at a book fair, but I usually encourage them to order the books they want at the library instead of buying them.
Go to the library. My kids love the library. We got them all library cards when my youngest was 6. They have loved having them and have their numbers memorized. They order books online and I get an email when books come in and when things are due. We usually go to the library every week. My kids have learned to order new releases and movies right as they become available. We have a basket where all of the library books are stored so that we don’t lose any. The library has lots of fun and free activities as well as great ideas for books like the “Clean Reads For Teens” list I just picked up this week at our local library. Check out your local library!
Help them find their genre. Each of my kids took a little bit of work to get them to like reading. The key is to find something that appeals to them and keeps them interested in reading. My oldest daughter first got hooked on the Harry Potter Series and that got her started reading. She also loved “Goose Girl”. My second daughter found the Rainbow Magic Fairy Books and read as many as she could (there are hundreds). My son loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Let them try different types of books and eventually they will find some that they love!
Read the book before you go see the movie. Now that our kids are getting older, we encourage our kids to read the books before we watch the movie together (Like the Hobbit, Pictures of Hollis Woods, and Princess Bride). Also, find books from their favorite movies or TV shows. There are a lot of book options for just about every movie out there.
Use books to learn. There are so many options to continue learning. If my kids have an interest in something, we find a book about it. Like my daughter loved owls so we found all kinds of books about Owls. I’ve found books about motherhood, budgeting, travel, finishing a basement, cooking, exercises, pretty much anything you want to learn about. Pick something you’d like to learn more about and get some books about it!
Read scriptures together. Scriptures have had an amazing impact on my children for good! We read a few verses together every night before bed. When my kids were younger, we would whisper to them what the verse said and have them repeat it. They thought they were reading and were so excited! Reading scripture together has definitely helped my kids’ reading abilities. Knowing scripture words also helped with their vocabulary. Plus it brings such a great spirit into the home! Definitely a win-win!
Make sure the kids have time to read. There are so many things to do in the Summer. Make sure to leave a little bit of time for them to read. Try to keep electronics time to a minimum. Help your kids create “mind movies” instead.
Benefits of Reading…Reading definitely helps you become smarter. My daughter scored a 36 on the English portion of the ACT. I’d say her reading habits have definitely influenced her ability to speak proper
English as well as doing well in all of her other classes. Reading is a great stress reducer too! It will help bring your family closer together as you spend quality time together! What are some of your kid’s favorite books? My daughter said her ultimate favorite is “A Monster at the End of This Book.“
Things that inspired me:
- 10 Benefits of Reading
- Education without a Classroom
- 10 Incredible Benefits of Reading
- Why I’m Reading 100 Books This Year
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