Making children fall in love with reading is the first step in raising lifelong readers. If children do not enjoy reading for pleasure, they will often be resistant to improving and developing advanced reading skills, which will negatively impact them in an academic setting. And as schools have less and less time to devote to reading for pleasure, parents need to get more involved in encouraging their children to love reading. One way to encourage children to fall in love with reading is by modeling the behavior.
Parents who genuinely enjoy reading will often be engrossed in books, and the children will want to copy the behavior. Additionally, parents should read to their kids, and model the behaviors they use intuitively when they read for themselves. This simple family activity, which should be part of the daily routine, can represent the beginning of a child’s love for reading. Children can learn to focus completely on their reading when they know that this time is part of their routine at home, free from other distractions.
Reading with the kids should be interactive. This is easily achieved by talking about the story before, during and after the book is finished. In addition, the adults do not have to be the only ones reading aloud. If the parents and children take turns reading aloud, both can learn from each other. When the parents are reading, they can use funny and different voices, making the story come alive for the children. When the children are reading, parents can take the opportunity to help the children develop reading fluency in a relaxed manner. This is also a good a time to weave in phonics lessons to help children develop as readers.
It is easy to fall in love with reading when the books you are reading directly relate to your interests. One way to get children to read, even reluctant ones, is to find out their interests and passions and then provide books about these. Finding interesting books at the children’s reading levels and making them available to kids will definitely encourage and tempt the children to read. It is important that the books take into account the child’s reading comprehension. Second grade readers, for example, need books geared toward their reading level to avoid causing frustration if they cannot understand the story. This does not necessarily mean buying every book a parent finds on a topic a child likes.