As many of us are self-isolating at home with our loved ones during this unprecedented time, I find myself picking up unfinished activities I haven’t touched in a while, like reading the book I started two months ago. I didn’t put away that book because it was a boring or difficult one to read – it was because I didn’t make the time. Now as I self-isolate at home, it means I have time to read that book and many more.
I know, for some children, they either love reading or really dislike it. One simple question to ask your child is why doesn’t he/she like reading? Two common responses you might hear are: “Reading is hard!” or “Reading is boring!” This might be because they see reading as hard work, difficult, or uninteresting.
Here are some fun ways to motivate your children to read:
Set aside time for the whole family to read together
Create a routine by scheduling an hour around the same time every day to read together. If children know that their parents are going to read their own books during “Book Time”, they will be more inclined to read as well. As a result, this might even motivate them to pick up a book outside of “Book Time”.
Designate a reading space free from distractions
For me, my designated reading space includes my bed propped up with pillows, my dog (an essential), and a cup of tea. You can choose many distraction-free places in your home, such as the sofa or your child’s bed before bedtime. For younger kids, it might be fun to build a “reading” fort. Teenagers might prefer reading in their own bedroom, but if you are making time to read as a family, it’d be more motivating to do so together.
Make sure the reading material is at grade level
You want to make sure your child is picking a book that is at their reading abilities. Picking an easy book will demotivate them, whilst a difficult book might frustrate them and increase their dislike of reading.
Pick a variety of materials to read
It is so easy to pick up popular fiction books like Harry Potter and other fantasy books. However, there are a lot of different genres to read, such as picture books, graphic novels, biographies, non-fiction, cookbooks and children’s magazines. By having a variety of books available for your child to read, it will give them the opportunity to find new interests and will encourage them to continue exploring.
Fill up a bookcase that is easy to reach or find books online
There are many websites where you can read books or print them out. A website like K12 Reader is worth the visit, since it has a lot of reading comprehension PDFs suitable for any age. Additionally, many libraries offer virtual access to their library books. Apps like Overdrive and Libby are some of the most popular library apps you can easily download on your devices.
A series of books I recommend, which is both educational and enjoyable to read, is the “Little People, Big Dreams” series. I gift my friends’ children these books, and they’re a hit! They can be purchased via Amazon as well.
Be aware of your child’s trouble areas
Some children dislike reading because they struggle with it. A good tip, when reading-out-loud, is to animate your voice and use hand and body gestures. Have them mirror your gestures when it’s their turn to read. This will eventually excite them enough, so they will look at reading as a fun activity. For younger children who are struggling, it’s best to read with Mom and Dad. For the older, more reluctant reader, I’d suggest having them read to a younger sibling.
I hope these tips help you with your children during this difficult time. As always, remember to have fun with reading, be safe, and stay positive!
Got an awesome book to recommend to us? Please share it in the comment section below!
Little People, Big Dreams Series. (2020). Waterstones. Retrieved March 29th, 2020 from https://www.waterstones.com/booklist/377114/little-people-big-dreams-series
‘Reading Comprehension Worksheets Grades 1-10’. (2018). K12 Reader. Retrieved March 29th, 2020 from https://www.k12reader.com/subject/reading-skills/reading-comprehension/