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Parents: How to Raise a Reader

Little Girl Reading

Tips for parents on raising a child who loves to read

Reading is a fundamental building block to a child’s education. As parents, we understand this and want reading to be a big part of our children’s lives. Most of us would love it if our children grew up to be great readers, but how can we pull this off? It might seem impossible to raise a child who loves to read in a world of smartphones, tablets, and video games but it can be done. Not only is it possible but it’s actually easier than it sounds.

In this blog post, we will discuss some ideas that can help you raise a child who loves to read.

Read to Your Child

Sounds simple, right? It is. Reading to your child is the number one way to promote reading to them. There’s no reason to wait until your child is old enough to talk. It’s perfectly fine to start reading to your child when they are an infant. In fact, reading to a young child has many benefits.

Being read to on a regular basis tends to help a child’s speech and other cognitive abilities begin to develop sooner. Reading to a child also helps them begin to learn concepts like colors and emotions.

In addition to all the educational benefits of reading to a child, it can also be a special bonding time between the two of you.

Reading Can be Fun

If you’re a parent, I don’t have to tell you that kids love to have fun! If a child thinks something is boring they will not want to be involved in it! If we want kids to read we need to make it fun for them. Luckily, there are many ways we can make reading fun for our children.

Turn Reading Into a Game

Look for ways to turn reading into a fun game. Here are some ideas on how you can make reading fun for your child.

  • Act out the character voices when you read to them.
  • Once they can read a little, have them read to you.
  • Make flashcards with words on them.
  • Read signs while driving down the road.
  • Put labels on items in their room.
  • Write a story about them and read it to them.

Just use your imagination! You will find an infinite number of ways to make reading fun for your child.

Fill Their Space With Books

Ok, of course, you don’t need to literally fill their room with books. The idea is simply to make sure they have plenty of books around. Growing up with books will give them a sense of comfort and familiarity with them. Being surrounded by books also helps a child become familiar with letters, words, paragraphs, and punctuation.

Having books around also shows a child that books and reading are important. A child who grows up with a positive attitude towards books will most likely have a positive attitude towards education as well.

If You Read They Will Read

Children like to do what they see their parents doing. If a parent is a reader, there is a great likelihood that their child will also grow up to be a reader. You may not be a big reader, and that’s ok. I’m not saying you need to read a book a week. This is only one piece of the puzzle. Just do your best. Simply let your child see you reading from time to time. It will have a positive impact on the way your child feels about reading.

Positive Praise for Reading

I don’t have to tell you parents how well most children respond to a little positive affirmation. Remember to make a big deal out of every reading milestone your child reaches. Even the small ones! Take a picture or video and share it on social media. Make a video call to the grandparents and let your child tell them about it. Plan a special dinner or dessert. Be creative. Come up with fun and exciting ways to praise their reading progress.

You Are More Than Enough

Let me encourage you that you DO have what it takes to help your child become a great reader. You don’t need any special training or education. All it takes is the “want to”, a little effort, and a little consistency. You can do this! You are more than enough!