Reading and literacy is the singular most important skill a child can learn and yet there are so many that either simply do not enjoy recreational reading or will only do the bare minimum required by their teachers. Raising an avid reader is not an easy task, but it is indeed quite possible to do so – with just a bit of savvy. At times parents tend to make the job too hard when with a few simple tips and tricks the pressure may be taken off and reading may actually become a thoroughly enjoyable activity for the child.
Make Sure Kids Have Plenty of Access to Books & Reading Material
The biggest mistake many parents make is not the lack of reading materials they offer to their children, but instead an insistence of reading materials that are exclusively at or above the child’s reading level. This is a crucial error in that it does little to entice the child to pick up a book she can devour quickly. Granted, teachers are quite adamant to hone a child’s skill with books at reading level, but for fun and recreational reading, parents should go ahead and offer books that are just for fun. The same may be said for age appropriate magazine that parents might want to keep where their child sits and relaxes to eat snacks.
Choose Learning Materials that Match a Child’s Interests
These recreational books should cover any number of topics the child is interested in, and may even include comic books. Parents may leave them sitting out in a little book nook where the child may pick them up – or not – as she desires. Giving a child the power of choice goes a long way to nagging her to pick up a book and practice her reading. .
Sign Your Kids Up for a Library Card
Another step to raising an avid reader revolves around a library card. Each child should have a library card in her own name as soon as they are in kindergarten. Introduce her to the books at the library, explain where books for her age group are found, and encourage her to take a book off the shelf and sit down with it. Older kids need to be taught how to use the library computer to find books they might only know the title of or the name of the author. Parents sometimes make the mistake of visiting the library when they are in a time crunch; this is usually a recipe for disaster, as the child will never really get into the books and make her selections.
If You Must…Try Interactive Reading Games to Spark Learning
If the reluctant reader is a video game aficionado, foster a love for reading by providing games that require plenty of reading. Bed time reading is also a good way of encouraging the budding book lover. While she thinks she is getting away with sleep delay tactics, she is actually turning into an avid reader! Reading to the child is also a good idea. There are times when a child will refuse to read on her own simply because she is upset that with her newfound reading skills the parents no longer make the time to sit down and read to her. Kids as old as teens still enjoy being read to. If all else fails, the child’s eyes need to be checked. In a minority of cases the aversion to reading had little to do with the books but everything with an inability to actually see the pages.