I know every parent understands just how important it is to read out loud to their child. But we all know just how busy a parents life is. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that it’s as easy as possible to read to our kids. We need to set up our home so it’s always on hour minds and easy for our kids to grab a book and snuggle up with it.
We want reading to always be a positive experience. When a child picks up a book we want them to be excited to find out what’s on it’s pages. So today I’m going to share with you some of the things I’ve done around my house to help my kids love to read.
My oldest son is a reader. He can read a giant book in a few days and remember everything he’s read. There are a few things we did when he was smaller that I know contributed to his love of reading.
That being said, not all kids like to read. No matter how much you try. No matter how much you read to them. They just don’t like to read on their own. So don’t feel down on yourself if you don’t raise kids that love to read. Those kids probably are better with numbers. My kids that don’t love to read are way better at math than my readers are. So just remember that every child is different, but we are going to try our hardest to help them develop a love of reading.
1.Find books your child loves. I can not stress this enough. When you are building your home library, you need to fill it with all types of books. Informational, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, folklore, fairy tales, rhyming books . . . you get the picture. My oldest son loved books about the human body. He loved learning about bones, muscles and how his body worked. Now he wants to be a doctor. My second youngest son did not love to read on his own. He loved to be read to, but didn’t like to read to himself. We worked and worked to try and find the types of books that would make him love reading, and we finally found the Percy Jackson series. He loves Greek Mythology so these books peaked his interest.
That’s why we love Bookroo! Bookroo sends your child two new books each month. Research shows the first five years to be a critical time to read to your children. This is when they have the most rapid brain development that doesn’t occur at any other time. Bookroo is focused on this age group.
The books they send are for children ages 0-6. You can choose the age range of books that they send to you. Ages 0-2 contains 3 books and ages 2-6 contains 2 books. The younger kids get board books and the older kids get hard back picture books. The Bookroo books come wrapped like presents to make the process more fun. My kids love to unwrap things so this makes the books so much more special.
Bookroo looks for hidden gems to send in their boxes, rather than the classics you may already know about or can easily discover. Their books are extensively reviewed by a panel of 12 families attending Stanford University and their combined 22 kids. They rate each book on a 7 point scale and on its re-readability. Books that emerge as clear winners are sent out in Bookroo boxes.
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2. Create a reading retreat in your home. Creating an oasis for reading makes reading a thing your kids will look forward to. Make sure you choose a space where there is enough room for your children and you to sit together side by side so you can all read to each other. Fill the space with pillows and blankets. It’s also fun to have a bin in there filled with stuffed animals to be “reading buddies”. It’s the cutest thing to hear your child in their reading nook “reading” a story to their stuffed animals. Make sure the books in this space are easily reached by your children. It’s nice to have a traditional book shelf, but it’s also nice to have a forward facing book shelf so the kids can see the covers of the books. Like this one . . .
3. Choose a chapter book or longer picture book to read over time. A long book like a chapter book that is appropriate for your childs age can be a great thing to make your child excited about reading. You read a chapter or two a day and put the book mark in for the next day. Stopping at a cliff hanger will get your child excited about coming back to read. Breaking up a book and reading it over the course of several days also gives your child an opportunity to learn how to summarize or review what happened the last time you read.
4. Set a reading time reminder on your phone. Each day is different. My schedule changes from day to day and sometimes it can get so busy that we forget to read together. So setting an alarm each day to remind you to take a break and sit and read with the kids is a lifesaver. One time we loved to read books was during bath time. I’d sit on the toilet and read books to the kids while they were soaking in the lavender bubble bath, relaxing and getting ready for sleep. When your kids get older, chances are, you’ll have to keep track of reading minutes for school, and if you already have this habit set up, you are golden!
5. Re-read books your children love. Reading books multiple times allows them to completely understand the characters and the plot of a story. When your children are young and can not read yet, they can still “read” a book to a freind or reading buddy by looking at the pictures and remembering the story. Re-reading old favorites can be a fun part of reading together.
6. Be a reading role model for your children. Let the kids see you and their older siblings reading, and how much you enjoy reading books and magazines. When they see that you love to read, they will want to read too. This is why it’s really important to have older siblings read to your younger children too. They will notice how much everyone loves to read and it will create a desire in them to be a good reader.
Teaching your children to love reading in the home is so important because if you leave it for school time they will associate it with work, not pleasure. A desire to read for curiosity and interest is the ultimate goal here.
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