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When I first found out I was pregnant, I was a preschool teaching assistant so we had a lot of circle time that was spent reading with the kids in one shape or form. We always put in the effort to encourage a child to read in our classroom and also encouraged our parents to do the same in their homes. We knew it was essential for their growth.
When I would purchase new books for the classroom, I would buy double to build my library at home for my son. Anytime I was out and about, I would read out loud. Labels, menus, newspaper articles, and more. People probably thought I was weird, but I wanted my baby to hear my voice as much as possible so he recognized it.
My youngest son absolutely loves reading. He always took a book with him everywhere we went. We had a small bag of books we kept in the vehicles so he could grab one and read whenever he wanted. We would swap them out at least once a month and it was like he was getting read a new book every time.
I volunteered for our PTO book fair and made sure that each classroom was able to have books donated to their own libraries which will help the teachers encourage a child to read at or above their level at any given moment.
Some children love nothing more than sitting down with a good book. Be it a Harry Potter, the latest Judy Blume, a DC or Marvel comic book, or something as spooky as one of the Goosebumps novels, they will devour each page before moving onto the next in their favorite series.
But then there are those children who will turn their nose up at a book. With one hand on a video game controller and the other on their smartphone, they will spend their time engaged with a screen, rather than the page of a well-crafted novel.
4 PAINLESS WAYS TO ENCOURAGE A CHILD TO READ
However, there are ways to encourage a child to read and love what they read, so if you need a little help in this area, here are some suggestions.
Buy your children Books They show interest in
If a book appeals to your child, they might be more enthused about it. So, consider their interests, be it within the world of fiction or something factual, and buy them a book to match. It might be an outer space adventure if they love all things sci-fi, for example, or a biography of their favorite pop star. Be sure to buy something age and reading level appropriate too, as they will have a better experience while reading this way.
If your child is reading at a higher level, please do not discourage it either. It is okay to purchase books a couple of levels higher than their normal grade level. Saddleback's collection of Hi-lo Books are perfect in this regard, as the engaging range of books they have available have been adapted to certain reading levels. Check the site and then check in with your child about the books they might enjoy.
Utilize your children's screens
While many of us love nothing more than the smell of a freshly-opened book, we have to accept the fact that our children might not. If they much prefer a screen to a paper page, embrace this, and encourage a child to read on the devices they are using. Most tablets, smartphones, and laptop computers all have e-reading capabilities, so browse the Kindle store with your kids, or any other reading app, and download something they might enjoy.
Watch a movie
Not just any movie, of course. We are talking about those movies that have been adapted from a book. For younger children, you might choose Babe, Charlotte's Web, or Fantastic Mr. Fox, and for older children, you might choose The Hunger Games or The Hobbit. These are all based on works of fiction, and you can see other book-to-film adaptations here. If your children love the movie, you can let them know that the book came first. They might then be more inclined to read the original work of fiction.
Bring books to life
Your teens might not be willing to join in with this, but if you have younger children, you could enact scenes from books with them. You could do this when reading to them at night, so be prepared to put on all of the character voices. Or you could role-play scenes from books when having dress-up fun with your kids. You could also buy those interactive books that will encourage your children to do more than just read the written page. By bringing books to life, you might fuel their imagination, and give them a reason to think of reading as a fun activity!
Reading is one of those skills that children need for success, so do what you can to stir this passion in them. Their minds will be broadened if you do, and on an educational level, you will also increase their skills in spelling, grammar, and reading.
So, use our suggestions, and perhaps read more books yourself, as your children might follow your good example.