Reading is a key life skill and is one of the most significant indicators of future success for our children. We want our children to be successful readers to help them with their schoolwork and to allow them to have a love of reading. There are so many exciting books that are just waiting to be discovered.
Show Your Love of Reading
First and foremost, let your child see your love of reading. If you value it, show it with your actions and devote time to it.
Be a good role model by letting your child see you read for pleasure, from a paper book, not just a phone or tablet. Showing that you give your precious time to this, shows first hand that it is important and valued. It’s a win-win, you are modelling the good reading behaviours that you want to see and you get the opportunity to read something you can enjoy for yourself.
Have the books you love on display on a bookcase. By doing this, you’re showing that you love and appreciate books and reading and you get a spark of joy every time you see them.
Need some inspiration for new books to read? Take a look at Wake Up It’s Mondays 7 Happy Books List.
Borrow or Buy Books
Has your child read all of their books at home? Or are they not inspired by the books they do have? Try a book swap with like-minded friends. This can encourage your child to read something that they might not have chosen for themselves and they can discover hidden treasures.
Go to the library for yourself and take your child with you. Let your child see you choose a book and let them chose a book to borrow. Give them the freedom to look at a wide range of books and show them how to find books they might like. Show them the different areas of the children’s library and introduce them to the different types of books that they have there. Give them time to have a browse at their own pace, follow their lead to see how much time they need to make their own selection.
Introduce a Wide Range of Books
Introduce your child to a wide range of books in addition to the reading books they are given at school. Include fiction, non-fiction, chapter books, picture books, graphic novels, comic books and joke books and see what captures their interests.
Use your children’s passions to direct you to books they would love to read. Does your child have a favourite hobby? Whether it’s a sport or something creative there will be non-fiction and fiction books with that theme.
Take your child to a bookshop and let them choose a book of their own to buy (when your family ask for gift ideas suggest a book token). This gives them the freedom to explore books and become curious. They can follow their own interests or find new things that catch their eye. Bookshops with larger children’s sections will usually be able to advise on new authors and trending books. Buying a book gives your child ownership over their book choices and they will be more excited to read it.
At home, make sure you have regular reading time. Have everyone in the house stop what they are doing and come together to read their own book. You are all reading for enjoyment and it’s a great opportunity to show your own love of reading and be that good role model that we have discussed earlier.
As your child continues to get older, continue to have a bedtime routine of reading a story with them. This is an opportunity for some quality time together. You’re modelling your reading skills and showing that you enjoy reading and this special time with them.
Be a Good Reading Role Model
The wide and wondrous world of books is just waiting to be explored for our children. Many of the ways we can encourage your child to read starts with you showing your own love of reading. Children learn so much from watching you and following your lead. Enjoy the many reading adventures that you will both have together, happy reading everyone!