Developing a reading habit is one thing that never seems to be easy with kids. Most parents struggle with this process regardless of how hard they try to encourage their children to read. It seems like many children don’t really have that love for reading, but it is usually a matter of proper encouragement.
Now that the holidays are around the corner, it is important to find ways to keep them off the tablets and video games and more focused on traditional reading. The following tips will help you achieve that goal.
Why is it important to keep kids reading?
Reading is essentially the backbone of the learning process of a human being. Even when technology allows the sharing of information with all kinds of digital media, reading a book will forever remain the ultimate method to acquire knowledge.
Here is a quick rundown on the benefits of reading traditional printed books:
- It significantly boosts the imagination of a child
- It helps the child learn to focus and avoid distractions
- More information is absorbed when reading a printed book
- This prepares them for more demanding academic years ahead
- They are likely to sleep better after a good night's read
Now that we got the essentials out of the way let’s get down to business. The goal is to encourage kids to read without feeling like this is a chore. Keep in mind that there are many strategies for this process, but we shared the ones that we find most practical and useful.
Start by providing books on subjects they enjoy
This is very important because it will allow you to give your kids more time to develop a love for reading. If you give your children books on topics they do not find interesting, this will make the process an uphill battle. In contrast, if you provide your child with a book on a subject they love, they will have an easier time staying focused.
This is why we would never advise that you try to force your kids to read content they do not like. Once the habit is developed, it will be much easier for them to read all kinds of content. By the time they develop a love for reading, their imagination will help them bring any topic to life.
Get involved and read a book with your kid
Don’t just give your child a book and expect them to read it alone. It would be good to read it aloud at first to get your child engaged in the stories. Short stories are perfect for you to read with your kid. Be sure to accentuate the emotions that are taking place in the book.
You will find it very easy for this to become a very powerful strategy to help your child stay focused. Doing this every day and then switching roles and having your kid read aloud is very helpful.
Give your kids several choices for reading material
We already established that your kids should only read things they enjoy at first. It is also important to give them several choices by offering a few books on subjects they like. If you do this, it will be much easier for your kids to enjoy the reading experience.
There is a very powerful psychological effect that comes from allowing your child to choose what to read. They will feel motivated when they know they have decided what to do. This is something that is very natural in human beings from a very early age. We prefer doing things we enjoy and not things people expect us to do.
Once your child develops the habit of reading, they will have a much easier time reading any type of content. Just remember to give them those options at first, as they are still developing their love for reading.
Look for books with plenty of images
It is always a good idea to avoid books with no images when you are trying to get a kid to enjoy reading. If they open a book and they only see plain text, this could be very disengaging. Large and colorful images with large fonts are perfect for kids who are just developing a reading habit.
Set an example
If you are concerned about your children’s interest in reading, it is very likely that you are an avid reader. This makes it a very simple step for you. All that you need to do is make sure that your kid can see your reading as often as possible. When your child sees that you are constantly enjoying reading material, it will make it clear to them that you love reading. This alone is a great way to contribute to their passion for literature.
Reward their reading time
If your child seems uninterested in reading, it could be a good idea to encourage them to read with rewards. The reward can be anything they enjoy doing, and this is going to be a good way to motivate them to read. Once time passes, you can start to see if the child is actually showing interest in reading without your encouragement.
This can prove to be a very powerful way to handle this process. Don’t feel discouraged if your kid shows no interest in reading. Keep nurturing the passion for reading, and you will see results eventually.
Final thoughts on books
When you show kids the value of reading, you will be helping them create a better future. Those who love reading will obtain more knowledge and skills to handle the world. This is the reason why you should take the time to nurture this important part of life.