As a total reading fanatic, it’s hard for me to understand when people dismiss books. I’m always shocked to hear people say, “I just don’t like reading.” Reading captivates my imagination, allows me to escape from daily stressors, and just plain makes me happy.
But I realize that a great deal of my devotion to books came from my childhood. My dad would take me to the library every Monday. We selected a big stack of books, and he would read to me every single night. This dedication on his part not only opened up my horizons to the wonders of reading, but it also helped show me as a child that reading wasn’t simply a school activity. It didn’t have to be boring or dry.
If your kids are struggling with reading or protest every time they have to read for school, there are several ways you can get them to think differently about books. Here are five ways to get your kids to embrace reading.
1. Subscribe to several children’s magazines.
Chapter books aren’t the only things that qualify as reading. Magazines can be a great way to pique your children’s interest in various topics. For example, after reading an article about dinosaurs, you can then take them to the library and select several books on T-rexs. They’ll not only get exposure to a wide variety of topics, but they’ll also see just how much information there is available to them in the library or on the Internet. If you use a coupon code at Magazines.com, you can find great discounts on titles like 'American Girl,' 'Sports Illustrated Kids,' 'Boys’ Life,' and 'Highlights.'
2. Introduce them to comic books.
Some parents might dismiss comic books as not being highbrow enough. However, graphic novels or comic books can be a fantastic way to introduce text while still having enough pictures to help with hesitant readers. Look for traditional comic books with superheroes or books like 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' or 'Star Wars:Jedi Academy.' The main thing is that the topic is something that will interest your child and keep them entertained.
3. Try a reading program.
One way to get your child some structured reading instruction is to subscribe to a program like Reading Eggs when they are young. They offer online reading games and activities that can help your child improve their reading skills. Reading Eggs also provides progress reports so you can monitor exactly what areas your child is struggling in. The program is totally cost-effective when you use a Reading Eggs promo code; you can even sign up for a free 14-day trial.
4. Read a book with a movie tie-in.
It can be fun for children to know there’s a movie tied in with the book they’re reading. You can encourage them to read the book first, then plan a special movie night where you watch the movie version. This can also help inspire some comprehension and comparison conversations (like which parts of the movie were different from the book or how they imagined the characters to look). Go for that old standby 'Harry Potter' or a modern classic like 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick (the movie is just titled 'Hugo.')
5. Read every single night.
The most important thing you can do to help your children learn to love reading – read with them. If you make a pattern of reading to your kids every night, they’ll see that you value reading and gaining knowledge. They’ll also love the special time you carve out just for them. Children who love to read will do better in school, but more significantly, they’ll have a wider perspective on the world.
Whether you bust out your library card or stock up at the bookstore, make reading a priority with your kids. They’ll soon learn to appreciate the magic that goes along with storytelling.