We all want our children to be voracious readers, and we all know how important it is to the learning experience, but how do we get our kids back into reading?
I am a firm believer that all children love reading – if they aren’t, they just haven’t found the right book. However, you can’t simply put a book in a child’s hands and expect them to devour it overnight. In my experience, a multifaceted approach is best, let me share with you some tips to help your child rekindle that love of reading.
Frequent, voluminous and self-selected
If your child is out of the habit of reading, jumping straight back into a big novel will be daunting. My first tip is to start small and establish a routine, with the end goal of making reading habitual. Early on, it is more effective to read in regular short bursts, than in irregular longer sessions. Agree on a goal for each night, 10 minutes before bedtime is a good place to start, and try to stick to this routine.
Bust the myths
In my experience, students have strange and often incorrect ideas about what the process of reading should be like. ‘You must finish every book that you start, ‘you cannot skip chapters’, ‘you must understand every word you read’. Our job is to bust the ‘fake news’ about reading. Share your own reading habits and journey with your child, listen to their perspectives on reading, and be sure they understand that reading is a deeply personal experience and can be done in many different ways.
Share the experience
Reading is an intimate experience, but it also has a communal aspect to it. Attending book clubs, visiting book shops, and listening to author talks are all aspects of the reading experience that make it more enjoyable – let’s extend this privilege to our children. Make a date to your local book store and library, attend writer’s talks, read the book that your child is reading and talk about it at the dinner table together. Gifting your child with these experiences will bring joy back into reading.