Reading is a formative pillar of a child’s early education. And when a child authentically enjoys reading, they’re more likely to develop stronger literacy skills throughout middle school, high school, and beyond.
At St. Timothy’s School, we encourage students to find joy in reading and comprehending grade-level texts. However, we understand that sometimes getting children to read at home is challenging. If your child is hesitant to read outside of school, you may consider finding ways to make reading more appealing. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to encourage your child to read more at home.
Let Your Child Choose
An effective way to encourage your child to read is by letting them choose their books. When your child independently selects their book, they are more likely to connect with and learn from the storyline. So while you may have specific books in mind for your child, it’s best to let them take the reins and pick books based on their interests.
While it’s important to give your child reading autonomy, you’ll also want to ensure they’re not selecting books outside their reading level. If your child chooses a book that is too challenging for their current skill set, they may become frustrated and discouraged from reading altogether. As a parent, you can look to your child’s educators for grade-level book recommendations. Then, provide a diverse selection of appropriate books that align with your child’s interests.
Create a Reading Routine
Incorporating reading into your child’s daily routine is another smart way to strengthen their reading skills. Like brushing your teeth or making your bed, reading is a healthy habit that should be a part of your child’s daily rituals. Whether they’re reading a few pages during breakfast or a chapter before bed, any capacity of daily reading will benefit your child significantly.
Consider reading books aloud together, especially if your child is a lower-level reader. This way, your child can ask questions throughout the story and feel more comfortable while reading. Not to mention, daily reading sessions together allow for more bonding time, which is also vital to your child’s intellectual and emotional development.
Read a Series
Book series are an excellent tool for inspiring interest in young readers. When a child enjoys the first book in a series, they’ll likely want to read the sequel. And if the series has multiple succeeding installments, your child will want to read more and more. Book series give children an ongoing familiarity with tone, characters, and themes, which makes the stories easier to grasp and more enjoyable to read. Consider asking your child’s librarian or teacher to find the right book series for your child. They can recommend grade-level texts that fit your child’s reading abilities and interests.
Limit Technology Use
While technology can be a valuable learning tool, it can also distract your child. Excessive screen time at home can limit your child’s interest in other activities like outdoor play or reading. As a parent, regulating your child’s device usage will allow for more reading time. While your child may love watching their favorite TV show, you should remind them that reading is fun too. However, it is important that you model this same behavior. If you’re constantly in front of a screen, your child will likely do the same. Therefore, parents can set a strong example by taking time to read, as this will instill the same healthy habits in your child.
Make Books Accessible
Ultimately, children need access to books to become strong readers. If you have a family bookshelf at home, consider filling it with some kid-friendly texts for your child. And if your child is younger, you could also install a child-sized bookcase that puts books within your child’s reach.
Consider other reading outlets for your child if you have a limited home book selection. From trips to the local library to skimming the shelves of bookstores, there are plenty of ways to make books accessible for your child.
Private Education at St. Timothy’s School
Reading is a huge component of the research-based curriculum at St. Timothy’s School. Our students explore new realms of creativity, curiosity, and imagination through reading grade-level texts and engaging in literacy-based activities. Visit our site today to learn more about the comprehensive curriculum at St. Timothy’s School.