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How can you encourage your child, whether a beginning reader or a reluctant reader, to read children's books on a regular basis? Here are some ideas that may help.
Simple Tips to Encourage Reading
- Make a habit of reading to your child every day, whether she is a one-year-old or a 10-year-old.
- When your child is able, have him read to you. You can take turns reading chapters in a simple chapter book, for example.
- Get a library card for your child. Go to the library every week and take out several books.
- Be aware of your child's interests and direct your child to related books.
- Try to find a series that she really likes and will want to continue reading.
- Provide a comfortable reading area, with good lighting, in your home.
- Discuss books with your child.
- If your child is a reluctant reader and not reading on grade level, buy her hi/lo books (books with a high-interest level, low vocabulary).
- Talk to your child's teacher and ask for suggestions.
- If your child responds well to incentives and enjoys using the computer, enroll in an online book group (with your supervision).
- If your child really enjoys a particular author, check with your librarian about other authors or books he might enjoy.
- Children also often enjoy the opportunity to read children's magazines.
Basically, you want to stay on the side of encouraging rather than nagging if you want your child to read and love doing it. Nothing puts a child off faster than feeling forced to do something, so be careful. The importance of reading to your child daily cannot be emphasized enough -- so make it a priority. Also, be consistent with reading aloud together, trips to the library and other encouraging activities.
Finally, if your child is in a preteen or entering middle school, the article Middle School, Reading and Tweens: Motivate Your Preteen to Read is a useful and informative resource.