Instilling a Love of Reading

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Mar 9, 2010

by Lianne Castelino

It's a common plea heard by many parents these days – “my son/daughter doesn't read enough”. Goodness knows I've said it plenty of times!

With all the electronic paraphernalia taking over our lives, reading often seems like a lost art. Fear not, here are some great tips to create your own little book worm:

1- Turn off the tv. (Even just 20 few minutes a day makes a huge difference)

2- Designate a time (eg. after dinner) as quiet time.
Every member of the family should get a book and read.
A child tends to copy what they see their parents doing. If they see you reading, chances are they will too.
Read aloud to younger children in a separate quiet spot.

3- Get older children to read to younger siblings as part of their responsibilities.

4- Let your kids “EARN” gaming time by reading first.
Eg. 20 minutes of reading = 20 minutes of gaming

5- Visit the public library at least once a week. Stay a while and explore.

6- Create a family reading club. Discuss books after completing them.
For every book read – offer a compensation or reward.
To earn the reward, ensure that each book is accompanied by a one paragraph summary. (You need to ensure they are actually reading and that they understand what they are reading).

7- Make 20 minutes of reading a day a family staple.

8- Don't be picky about what your child reads. A newspaper, novel,
the comics, horror stories, the Bible – as long as they are reading.

9- For fussy or new readers – try audio books. These also work well
for long car trips.

10- Build a family library of everyone's favorite books.

With a 12, 10 and 5 year-old, activities, sports, music and every other thing jam-packed into our schedule, it is challenging to incorporate reading daily, but like so many other facets of parenting – I've learned it's about creating a habit. Once you start, it's builds steam, becomes a priority and then before you know it – a habit is formed!

The importance of reading cannot be overstated. Reading bedtime stories to your child is just the beginning of an important lifelong journey and an important habit they will cherish!

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