Learning to read is a critical part of any child’s education. But getting a child to read for pleasure, not just schoolwork, can be a real challenge, especially since our modern society is jam packed with electronic screens.
If you’re stumped for ideas on how to get your kids to read for pleasure, try these four ways to encourage free reading!
4 Ways to Encourage Free Reading
Use alternate media.
Let kids fall in love with literature in general, not just paper books. I mean, I love paper books, but there are other ways to build a love for stories.
Try listening to classic children’s stories on tape or online. They can even do this while they’re playing or drawing. Let them looking at stories on an e-reader. They can even try acting out a simple story in costume! Getting words off the book’s page and into the imagination can do wonders for helping kids to learn to love storytelling.
Follow your child’s interests.
The whole point of reading for pleasure is to read books about topics that you actually like. So if you set up a time for free reading, don’t force your child to read a book he doesn’t like.
Watch to see what topics he or she gets excited about and then find stories or non-fiction books about them. For example, my kids (like most kids) love ice cream. Putting together a booklist featuring kids’ books about ice cream is a fun way to stir up reading about it!
Set the example.
There’s no way our children will learn to read for fun if they don’t see us curled up with a good book regularly. Create a quiet time each day for free reading and read a book silently near your child. Sitting next to you and watching you enjoy reading for pleasure can help them see that reading truly is fun!
Above all, relax. If your child doesn’t love reading by age 7, who’s to say he or she won’t grow to love it by age 10? Sometimes it just takes a bit of patience and space for our kids to develop a love for reading on their own. Give it time!
How do you get your kids to learn to love reading for pleasure? Share your tips in the comments!