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The Need to Read: 5 simple ways to encourage reading

“A parent or a teacher has only his lifetime; a good book can teach forever.” –Louis L’Amour

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him.” –Maya Angelou

Switch it up!

  • Audiobooks
  • Ebooks
  • Comics
  • Cookbooks
  • Facts  (National Geographic for kids)
  • Nonfiction
  • Fiction
  • Action/Adventure
  • Encyclopedias (Remember those)
  • Art
  • Poetry
  • Science
  • Math
  • Travel (We enjoy these for reading aloud)
  • History
  • Dictionaries
  • How to Guides
  • Inspirational

Visit the library and bookstores to see what sparks their interest.

Reduce

Try to cut back on electronics. Instead of tv time have a designated time for reading. Set timers. Reading for 10 minutes is better than no reading at all.  To make it even more interesting give them headlamps and flashlights for nightly reading.

Books, Books, Everywhere

Fill every room in the house with books. Living Room. Kitchen. Family Room. Parents Room. Bathroom. Office. Dining Room. My favorite place to keep books is in the car.  Browsing at Goodwill or thrift stores, I always pick up a few books to keep in my secret book stash. Every few months ( I tried to swap books out once a month but life) I replenish the “car” books with new books. I try to keep at least one chapter book for each child, one fact book and one working book such as Mad Libs readily available.

Read together

This is the most important step. Scholastic did a survey about why reading aloud is important . The frequency of reading aloud drastically decreases after the age 5!

  • 0 to 5 years old 59%
  • 6 to 8 years old 38%
  • 9 to 11 years old 17%

Make reading aloud more interesting by reading a book associated with a movie and do a theme night. We read Charlotte’s Web as a family, made web pizzas with pepperoni spiders and watched the cartoon and real life versions of the movie.

Another example while reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie eat cookies!

Make it Interactive

  • Dress up as the characters
  • Take turns reading each page
  • Have a theme night
  • Watch a movie associated with a book
  • Read while listening to music
  • Read while eating
  • Read in different places
  • Read to a pet
  • Read with silly voices

How do you encourage reading?

See our family book review The Water Princess

6 thoughts on “The Need to Read: 5 simple ways to encourage reading

  1. Yes – great list! We started our homeschool years with dyslexia, so I just read to them constantly and then we discovered audiobooks. All of my children are voracious book lovers of some form or another!

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