Are children’s books plentiful in your home? Are magazines your child might enjoy—even for the pictures—obvious? Do you display books on coffee tables? Does your child have a bookcase—or a shelf—to call his own? Do you stand up books in their attractive jackets so that your child will be lured to read them?
Research shows that the more contact children have with reading materials—books, magazines, comic books, emails, book apps—the better readers children become.
The first step to getting your child to read more is to provide more reading materials. Take her to the library and bring home not one or two but ten books. Then display the books where the child is likely to see them and read them. If the child has a designated reading spot—a certain chair in a window, the end of a couch near a lamp, her bed—prop up the books there to entice her. Set aside some time every day and read with her, or let her read to you.
Is a bookstore one of your weekly stops? Or the book section of a department store? Even if you just prowl through the children’s section with your child, he will find books he might like to read. If you can afford them, great, but if not, write down titles and go to your public library to request them. Make your child aware of your determination to find the books he wants.
Studies show that having a variety of books at hand motivates kids to read. Combine that with more time to read, and kids become better readers. One study shows that the best predictor of reading achievement (high test scores, for example), is the amount of time kids read on their own, without pressure to read.
What have you done to make your home a place where your child wants to read? Please share your ideas by responding to this blog. Your email won’t be shown, nor your name. But your ideas might spur another parent or teacher to increase the reading of her children and students.