11 Helpful Tips for Raising a Reader
Developing a child's lifelong love for reading is an incredibly important goal for parents and guardians who want to give their children the best possible chance at success. The numerous benefits of reading cannot be understated. Learning how to read can help boost a child's cognitive skills and language development. It can also give children access to different cultures, languages, and even worlds beyond the one they inhabit each day. Reading is a path toward better critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and decision-making. Taking time to read with young readers allows adults to model comprehension, develop an interest in stories and explore differing vocabularies – which all support school development, job readiness, and lifelong learning.
Do you want your child to enjoy reading? Raising a reader does not have to be an uphill battle. There are many ways that you can help your child become an avid reader. Here are eleven helpful tips for raising a reader.
Reading to children from an early age is fundamental to raising readers. Reading aloud exposes children to enriching language and allows parents to bond with their kids and make them feel safe and secure. Reading frequently will help children understand the world around them, learn new words, and develop skills like critical thinking, concentration, and imagination.
Even before they can read on their own, share stories with your children. Sing songs and nursery rhymes, read picture books and talk about what's going on in the story as you go along.
Children learn best when they are actively involved in their own learning. So, make reading a shared activity. When your child sees you enjoying books and reading with others, they will understand the importance of literacy and be more likely to pick up a book themselves.
When you read together, be sure to take turns. You can read one page, and your child can read the next. Encourage them to read out loud, but don't force it if they don't want to. Simply hearing stories and looking at pictures is also an essential part of learning. You can also offer help with difficult words or concepts.
Make time for reading
Carve out specific times for reading each day. Whether it's just before bed, right after school, or at the dinner table, make sure that reading is part of your daily routine. This will help your child understand that reading is a priority in your house and gives them something to look forward to.
If possible, try to set aside some time for independent reading without any interference from parents. This could be while they're eating breakfast or while you run errands. Even 15 minutes of uninterrupted reading can greatly impact raising readers.
Visit the library regularly
Regular visits to the library are essential for raising readers. Children need access to books to read more often and develop their skills. Not only do libraries provide free access to thousands of books, but they also offer a wealth of other resources, such as storytimes, book clubs, and special activities.
Exploring the library also allows children to discover new books and genres that they may not have been exposed to before. Let them browse the shelves and pick out the books that pique their interest. This will help them feel more empowered in their reading choices.
Talk about books
Encourage your child to talk about their reading with you or friends. Discussing a book helps children understand its themes, characters and plot points. This can also help boost their confidence in expressing themselves and discussing complex topics.
If your child is having trouble with a book, see if you can incorporate it into conversations at home. Ask open-ended questions, such as "What do you think will happen next?" or "How would you respond if you were in that situation?". This can help your child make sense of the story and stay engaged.
Make it fun
Who says reading has to be boring? Instead of just plopping down in front of a book, make it an experience. Play word games, put on puppet shows, and act out scenes from the story – all of these activities can be fun, interactive ways to encourage reading.
Raising your little one to be a lifelong reader is important, but don't forget to make it fun for them. Let them choose their own books and give them freedom when it comes to exploring different genres and topics. The more engaged they are with reading, the more likely they will be to continue developing their skills.
Find creative ways to motivate
Finding creative ways to motivate your kids is key when raising readers. Reward success with small treats like stickers or ice cream cones, or set up a chart where your child can track their progress. This will give them something to look forward to, and it also encourages them to set goals for themselves.
You can also let your child choose a special book each month, perhaps with a theme related to their hobbies or interests. This allows them to explore topics they may not have tried before and reinforces the idea that reading is an enjoyable activity.
Read aloud in public
Reading together in public places, like parks, stores, or waiting rooms, is another great way to develop a love for reading. It sends the message that books are essential and also helps children understand that reading isn't just something they do at home – it's something they can do anywhere.
Reading in public can also create special memories for your family, strengthening the bond between you and your child. Plus, it's a great way to expand their vocabulary and help them develop an understanding of different settings and scenarios.
Invest in high-quality books
High-quality books are essential when raising readers. Not only do they provide engaging stories, they often contain important lessons that children can learn from. When choosing books for your child, look for ones with beautiful illustrations and appropriate language for their age. This will ensure that the book is both entertaining and educational at the same time.
Go on an adventure
There's nothing like going on a literary adventure with your child to help them grow their minds. Get them excited about reading by visiting different places that are related to books, like local bookstores or libraries. Let them explore and try new things, like picking out their books or attending book clubs.
This will help them understand the value of learning through reading, meet others with the same interest, and expand their love of literature while becoming inspired in a new way! This will give them a greater appreciation for literature and spark their imagination in unexpected ways.
Make it a family affair
Reading is a wonderful activity to do as a family. Research shows that when families read together, children learn more and develop stronger relationships with their parents.
Create special moments where the entire family can sit together and read something. It doesn't have to be a whole book – it could be just one chapter or even one page! This will show your child that reading is enjoyable and important in their lives while also giving them time to bond with you and other members of the household.
By following these 11 helpful tips for raising a reader, you'll be well on your way to helping your child become an avid reader for life! Not only will this help them grow intellectually, but it will also allow them to explore their imagination and discover new worlds.
At Mrs. Myers' Learning Lab, we specialize in fun, interactive classes for developing readers. Our engaging process leads to students gaining self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and a love for learning that extends far beyond the classroom. Visit us to learn more!