Do your kids love to read? Do they hate to read? Reading leads to the improvement of so many different skills, from spelling to grammar and even creativity and imagination. If your kids hate to read, don’t despair! there are ways you can make it more fun.
I actually have 3 children that don’t like to read. It’s weird for me, because I am such an avid reader! I just cannot understand HOW someone can dislike reading. But, 3 of my kids don’t. I think it’s my fault. The only difference between them and my 2 who love to read is that I read to my kids that love to read. When they were little, we would spend lots of time reading books together. Unfortunately, the more kids I had, the less time I had to do things like reading with them. I did read to them, just not often enough. 🙁
This leads me to my first tip: Read to your kids.
Tip #1: Read to Your Kids
Sounds simple, right? But if you start when they’re little making reading an adventure, your kids will continue to love it as they grow into adulthood. And you have to really get into the story! Make different voices for the different characters in the story; put emotion into your voice as you’re reading. Ask your child questions such as “Uh oh, what do you think is going to happen next?” Talk about the pictures (“wow, isn’t that a nice dress?”) Let your child discuss it as well.
Make story time a regular thing in your house. You can read to all of your kids at once if you’d like, but make it a priority. These types of traditions will create memories that your children will treasure for years to come. 🙂
Tip #2: Create a Sense of Accomplishment
Another way to make your child feel good about spending time reading is to turn it into an accomplishment. One way for you to do this is to have him fill out a reading log. How does this give a child a sense of accomplishment? Simple – he will have a spot to write down the number of pages and/or the time he spent reading. When he looks back over the week’s log, he can feel good about what he’s successfully completed.
Tip #3: Find a Topic She Enjoys
It’s easier to do something you don’t enjoy if at least the topic is interesting to you, right? The same goes for reading. What is she interested in? My daughter, as an example, loves anything to do with the ocean – sharks, whales, dolphins, etc. Therefore, when we go to the library, I always make it a point to take her through the marine life section to pick out a few books. These types of books she will read…and ENJOY them while she’s reading them.
Tip #4: Use a Reward System
I know, I know, many of you may think that using a reward system is bribery. I, personally, don’t. Or at least not always. If you do it right, a reward system can provide positive reinforcement that can actually change a negative event into a positive one.
Set a realistic goal for her; when she meets it, she gets a reward. This is a great incentive for her to spend some time reading! The goal could be to read one book per week (or 2 weeks, depending on the length of the book and her age). If she meets this goal, perhaps you will take her out for a pizza, or buy her a new game or something else that she would enjoy.
You can also measure your child’s success in time spent reading. For example, if he spends a total of 2 hours (maybe more or less, depending on your child’s age) during the school week, he meets his goal and earns points towards a new XBox Kinect game (or some other prize that he would enjoy).
Tip #5: Read Along with a Movie
My final tip for today is to follow along with a movie. There are a ton of children’s books that have been made into movies. Choose one with your child, read the book (together, if that’s what will help) and have discussions about the story. After you read the book, watch the movie together. Discuss the differences you notice between the book and the movie. Be sure to ask which the child enjoyed more, and why. 🙂
How do you make reading time more enjoyable for your kids? I’d love to hear your ideas, so please share in the comments below!