There are a number of ways that you can get your child to love reading. By following a few simple tips and participating in reading with your children, it is much easier for you to get your child to love reading than you might think! The majority of children naturally love reading, simply because they love imagining different places and different people, and finding out about new places and new animals, along with history and geography. Not only is reading important so that children can learn and explore new worlds, but also many studies have shown that a well developed ability to read is the key component and factor in performing well in all areas of school, from reading to math to science to art.
However, even though the ability to read well is the key factor in success in school and thus in life, in 1994, only 28 percent of all eighth graders in the United States were able to read at the proficiency level or above the proficiency level. And how many of those eighth graders were able to read at any sort of advanced level? Only 2% of all eighth graders in the United States could read at an advanced level in 1994. And since that time, the ability of eighth graders to read at a proficient level has only gone down.
Babies and toddlers tend to really love books. They’re full of bright pictures, bright colors, and are lots of fun to read. But as children start to become older and get into elementary school, they usually stop reading. One of the main reasons that children stop reading and enjoying reading books as they get older is because reading starts to be associated with work. Instead of reading being fun, watching TV and playing video games begin to be associated with fun, and reading any book at all begins to be associated with homework. As a parent, you can help your child learn to love reading by starting reading habits early in childhood, and also by always associating reading with fun activity, rather than just with homework.
Here are some great ways that you can help your child learn to love to read.
1. Start reading to your child when they are still an infant.
While you’re picking up soft blankets and cozy stuffed animals for your newborn, stop by the books too. Pick up a number of different board books and cloth books that are easy for your baby to play with and to enjoy. Always carry some of these books with you in your diaper bag so that the books are always available, along with your baby’s snacks. Read with your child at any possible time that you can: after breakfast, before lunch, at lunch time, after nap time, before nap time, and more. Associate reading with an activity to be enjoyed at any time.
2. Become regular visitors to the library at a young age
Begin taking your child to the local library at a very young age. The majority of local libraries offer story time sessions for children of a number of ages, from infants to toddlers to older children. Also, take your child to the library so that your child can choose a few books each time. While you are at the library with your child, take time out to read to your child. All libraries offer cozy reading areas for parents and for their children. Give your child a library book allowance, and then take the books home. Read the books with your child.
3. Set a good example
Let your children see you reading yourself. Always have books around the house so that children can see that books are a regular part of life. Read on your own, and let your children know how important reading is to you. Also keep a subscription to a magazine that your children will enjoy, so that they can become excited each month when a new issue arrives.