Some children need no encouragement when it comes to reading; they bury themselves in a pile of books and need to be dragged away from their latest novel whenever it is time to eat or sleep. Other children, for whatever reason, are not nearly as enthusiastic. Some students view reading as a boring and pointless task, to be avoided at all costs. If this sounds like your child, check our my 10 tips to get your child more enthusiastic about reading.
1. Read aloud to your child.
Most people who read for pleasure were read to as a child. This is where we first develop our love of stories. The more you read to your child at a young age, the more enthusiastically they will pursue their own reading.
2. Read joke books.
Reading doesn’t always have to be serious. If your child is reluctant to read, try reading joke books together. Reading jokes engages our reading comprehension and interpretation skills and our ability to interpret subtle uses of language. Best of all, it’s much more fun than reading an encyclopaedia!
3. Give reading a purpose.
Some children complain that reading is pointless. Prove them wrong by linking their reading to an activity. For example, you could find a book that explains how to make the best paper planes, or you could encourage your child to read brochures to help you plan an upcoming holiday!
4. Get rid of distractions.
Reading is fun, but it also requires attention. As such, it is easy for readers to be distracted by the TV, video games and the Internet. Try to set aside an hour of “distraction-free” time each night, which can be dedicated to reading individually or as a family. Another helpful tip may be to use a digital reading device. Some people are choosing tablets over ereaders as they have more than one purpose, but this adds an extra distraction with the thought of other apps to use. Obviously, if you’d prefer to use a tablet instead of an ereader it really makes no difference, but be ready for that question, ‘can I go on games now please?!’
5. Vary the reading material.
Reading is reading, no matter what the medium. Though it is important for children to read novels, often other material such as joke books, comic books, picture books or poems can be a great way of getting them interested.
6. Ask questions.
Show interest in what your child is reading. Ask them to explain what is happening in the story, who the characters are, and get them to predict what might happen next. The more a child discusses what they read, the more engaged they will become, and the more motivated they will be to continue reading.
7. Set a good example.
Reading shouldn’t just be something that students have to do because their parents are making them do it. Set a good example by letting your child see you reading for pleasure; show that reading is something enjoyable that everyone can do.
8. Use subtitles.
Does your child watch a lot of movies? Want to help them improve their reading whilst also giving yourself a valuable bit of peace and quiet? Turn off the sound and put on the subtitles!
9. Get your child a library card.
Getting your child a library card encourages them to take responsibility over their own reading. Young children will feel very grown up when they are given their own card, and are likely to be enthusiastic about using it.
10. Don’t turn it into a chore.
Above all, try not to turn reading into a boring, stressful or strenuous task. The worst thing you can do is nag and berate your child to read; this will only cause them to associate reading with negative feelings from then on. Instead, encourage your child to read what they enjoy, praise them for their efforts.
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