Tips for Encouraging Your Children to Become Avid Readers

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, children needed to develop a love for reading so they could not only complete their schooling but also be more adept at communicating in general, and be better prepared for life in the “real” world as adults. 

However, with lockdowns now meaning increasing numbers of kids have to be home-schooled and get better at entertaining themselves, it’s more important than ever for youngsters to learn to love books. If you despair that this isn’t possible for your children, remember that there are things you can do today and into the future to help them become avid readers. 

Lead by Example

If you want your children to develop a love for reading, you need to model this behavior yourself. Children take their cues from the adults in their lives, so if they see you reading often and enjoying it, they’re much more likely to follow suit. 

Also, don’t be shy about sharing your excitement for books. Tell kids about what you’re reading and why, what you like about the stories you’re taking in, why you chose them, and what you’re looking forward to reading next. When your kids see that you take joy from books and other materials, they’ll understand that they have the chance to appreciate the process too. 

Give Kids Choice

Give your children a choice when it comes to what they read. Don’t try to force them to read only those books you deem educational enough or that you liked when you were a kid. Each child has different interests, passions, and abilities, and you must let them choose materials that suit these factors. When they find books that capture their interest, they’ll be more engaged and focused, take more from the texts, and want to keep doing it for longer. 

Help your youngsters by surrounding them with a wide variety of resources. Always have an array of physical and digital books (including audiobooks), magazines, comics, and the like at your child’s reading level on hand for them to peruse. Assist them with selecting age-appropriate texts, but apart from that, leave it up to them. The more options children have to choose from, the more likely it is they’ll find stories that help turn them into avid readers. 

Provide Access to Helpful Tools

When children are developing reading skills, they often don’t have a lot of confidence yet. However, you can help them to increase self-esteem in this area, and to become more frequent readers, by utilizing technology and other tools. 

For example, e-readers are handy because they’re adaptable for specific needs. For children with developing skills, you can set the screen to display larger fonts or fewer lines per page. The screens are popular with many people with learning or print disabilities, too. E-readers can have functions such as reducing glare for those with low vision, using particular fonts and backgrounds more suited to readers with dyslexia, and letting users read along as audio of a book plays. 

Today you’ll also find other tools that help children to develop higher-level reading abilities, which in turn makes them want to engage with content more. For example, you can purchase online programs that teach close reading skills, better comprehension, speed reading, etc. 

Bring Books to Life

Another way to encourage kids to become avid readers is to look for ways to bring books to life for them. Come up with activities to do together that extend the reading experience. For instance, sing songs related to the topic of the book they just read, do a craft activity that aligns with something in the material, or on a daily walk look for objects mentioned in a book.

If a story revolved around food, you could cook similar items together or even plant or tend to such produce in the garden. There are immeasurable options, and you’ll often find many suggestions in the teachers’ notes that publishers create to go with a book or ideas on author websites or social media pages. 

It’s also helpful to fan the reading flame by seeing if you can connect your child with authors and illustrators in some way. While in-person talks and workshops aren’t happening right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many creators are still doing online sessions. Check out YouTube and other social media sites, and bookshop, creator, and publisher websites for interviews, book readings, Q&A sessions, and more. When children see the people who created their favorite books, this usually inspires them to read more. 

Reading is an essential skill for people of all ages and backgrounds. Your child will find their schooling and later life easier if they can master this strength now. Follow the suggestions above to help turn your youngster into a lover of language this year.

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