Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.
"How do I get my kids to read more?" Or "how do I get my kids to enjoy reading?"
The simple answer to these questions is "READ!" But, that's a little too simplistic.
We need a little more advice & tips & tricks to flesh out this idea.
Well, I've scoured the World Wide Web. I've evaluated my own family's reading style. And I'm coming to you with some really great ideas for you to implement in your own home to raise a new generation of book nerds... I mean, book lovers!
Chances are that if you've clicked on this post, you are already a bookworm or well on your way. I firmly believe that this is the first stop on your way to helping your kids fall in love with reading.
Story Time! Once upon a time, I sold eyeglasses. Being a nearsighted person, I absolutely believed in the need for glasses. However, the executives in the eyeglass company wanted us to sell these ridiculous warranties that had page after page of teeny, tiny print. The terms & conditions were so unclear that even my managers were not clear on what it covered. But, we were required to sell this & our commission was dependent on how many warranties we sold. Being unsure of the warranty & not having bought it myself, I was (needless to say) TERRIBLE at selling these warranties. I ranked dead last among the sales staff.
All that to say - You have to believe in something to be a good salesperson for it. Your kids should see you reading. Then, they'll know that you value that habit & they'll be more likely to find value in it, too.
Haven't found books you like or feel like you have no time to read? I totally understand. I tend to go through cycles with reading, but here are some things that I find help me keep reading as a priority:
(Sorry, not sorry that I alliterated! I just couldn't help myself!)
If your kids are still little, this is an easy task. Babies just love sitting with a parent & reading (the same book over & over). And even before they're even close to talking, research shows that reading to your baby is important for bonding & language development. Toddlers might need a little more persuasion or excitement from their books. I've found that my little ones are more likely to engage with books that have flaps for them to open (Dear Zoo is a classic) or are about a subject they enjoy (trucks, ocean animals, etc.).
If you need some inspiration, go follow Sarah Mackenzie (Read-Aloud Revival) & Meghan Cox Gurdon (The Enchanted Hour) (& read their books, too)! They have SO many good ideas for how to incorporate reading into your daily life. And they also provide recommendations & resources to help you along the way. Another good book for recommendations is Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin. She gives excellent ideas of how to incorporate world cultures into your reading time & helps you see why that's so important!
In case you want quick ideas, here's how we're working to cultivate a reading culture in our home:
It's not an overnight change, and it may seem like a fruitless effort at first. Some kids just haven't met their perfect book yet. Some kids struggle with reading more than others & need more read aloud time with an adult. But when you implement these changes, you are sure to nurture a love of reading in the little people around you. Keep at it, friend!
Oh, and just because your kid learns to read, doesn't mean you're off the hook for reading to them! My oldest 2 are really strong readers, but they still LOVE when I take the time to read to them. Studies have showed a direct correlation between a kid's decrease in interest in reading & the decrease in read aloud time (especially books read for pleasure). With so many wonderful books out there, you are sure to find something that everyone can enjoy.
In case you need more inspiration, here are a couple bookish boards I've been pinning to!
Cheering you on!
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