Encouraging Your Child to Read


You know reading’s fun – in fact, as an adult, you’d probably love to have time to curl up with a good book – but how can you convince your kids or students? For parents and teachers with kids who already know how to read, the issue isn’t teaching them how; it’s getting them to use their reading skills to open up a world of fun.

It’s a visual world, and kids may think of reading as boring or uninteresting. But showing a child how wonderful reading is can be a lifelong gift.

Setting up a reading routine can help encourage independent reading and a love of reading that may last a lifetime. Children in particular respond well to routines, and will sometimes do things that are part of a routine that they might not do on their own.

So how do you implement a reading routine? What does it look like? Here are some simple steps to set up a fun reading routine in your home.

Listen to internet radio with Susan Heid on Blog Talk Radio

Choose a Time

The Right Environment

Choose a Book

Involve the Family

Read to and with Your Child

Using Cliffhanger Moments

What is your favorite reading trick?





photo credit

Home Made Simple

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  • Jenny Anderson

    I have so much to say here. I always feel better when I am in a good book, even if the reading pace is slow.
    Our school recently had a school wide read where the whole school was following the same reading schedule for The Cricket in Times Square. This is a book that I had tried to read to our girls previously, and it fizzled. So if at first it fizzles, try again, in a few months.
    My goal is to have them read most of the classics and Caledcott award winners. We started with chapter books, first Pippy Longstocking when they were 3 and 5. Previous to that we visited the library weekly and each person was allowed 3 books and 1 movie. I was doing home child care then and had topics depending on each child’s interests.
    We had reading spots everywhere. My favorite were the kiddie pool brought inside and filled with stuffed animals and books in winter, the dishwasher box with flashlights in fall-thank goodness for that new dishwasher! and reading on a quilt under the apple tree in summer.
    Regular reading times were before naptime and bedtime each day, but anytime else was fair game too. Board books are really best until 5, so they can be reread over and over again.
    Mem Fox is pretty much my personal hero and she has a great book for parents about reading aloud as does Jim Trelease. There are several great blogs with information available as well. I follow Susanna Leonard Hill and Read aloud Dad among others. Setting a good example and offering many invitations is a good way to start. Your 3 year old will love Silly Sally by Wood, Brown Bear by Eric Carle, Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh and several Jez Alborough books including HUG, several Mem Fox books including Time for Bed and oh so many more. Your tips are right on for kids and parents. Thank you for building my confidence as a Mom.

  • Love this! I also adore Mem Fox – I’ve had books of hers since my 20 year old was a bitty baby!

  • Jenny Anderson

    Thanks. I forgot one more tip. I had intended to have a book list for each girl, but it never happened. Instead I write it on our family calendar, so I will have a record of it when I am old and gray. When they were little, I had a calendar for each girl so that I could record new teeth, firsts, etc. Those calendars are in their special boxes in their closet. Now I have it all on a nice MOM calendar.

  • Lisa

    My kids are 14, 13, 9 & 7. When my older two were little we read to them every night religiously . My oldest considered it a punishment if we didn’t get around to reading or we could use it as leverage. My daughter enjoyed it enough but wasn’t as passionate as her older brother. Sadly, my oldest has fallen away from his reading habits. Life as a high school freshman, and the homework that comes with it, is taking it’s toll and then there’s the computer, particularly Minecraft with siblings. :o/ I’m hoping he’ll pick it back up in the summer when school isn’t so stressful. I still read to my daughter, who’s 13. Usually a chapter or two at night, but not every night. She’s got to come to me at a decent time. We are currently reading A Wrinkle In Time. We’ve let the younger two slip through the cracks a bit where reading is concerned. We still read to them on occasion but not nearly as often as we did their older sibs. My 9 year old is currently reading Percy Jackson, Lightening Thief, albeit slowly. I’m encouraged by that. But the little one we really need to get back to it so hopefully we can instill that love of reading in him.

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