I have a boy and a girl and they react to reading in the most stereotypical way. My son doesn’t like fiction and my daughter can’t get enough of it.
If you want your kids to really embrace reading and to thrive in language arts, you need to find a way to encourage them to read as much as they can.
Personally, I feel like “inference” is possibly the most important takeaway that they need to grasp when reading fiction. This is what my son struggled with the most. Also, being a boy. And I’m stereotyping to the max here, he did not really pay that much attention to the subtleties and nuances associated with emotional depth compared to my daughter. In other words, he didn’t really care about the drama in real life so why would he care about it in a book!
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1.Insist on Reading Every Day
I remember reading this wonderful article by James Patterson on how he got his son to read. And the gist of it was he made him read! He insisted he read every day.
2. Create the opportunity to read
There was a time when my son was grounded from playing electronics. We decided on a long period of 30 days. Which, you know, is the longest time in the whole entire world if you are on electronics each and every day! Nevertheless, my husband and I decided we would be committed to following through.
During this 30 day electronic break he played with his toys but it was so interesting that he fell into the habit of reading.
I can honestly say that the electronic ban was the essential kickstart to him actually enjoying reading. He suddenly developed a love for “storytelling” and it was as if a switch had gone off in his brain. It was so amazing to see.
3. Find a book or series your kid wants to read
I realized that if I wanted to encourage him to read I would really need to find something that he could enjoy. So I googled “Top 10 Tween Books for Boys” and ended up finding The Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore. My son has loved them and is currently reading Book 8!
From a kid who went from reluctantly reading to devouring a whole series is just mind blowing.
Here are some other tips to encourage your child to read.
Persevere, reading is truly one of the greatest gifts you can bestow on your child.
4. Read from when they are born.
I did this. I read to my babies because I thought they would like to hear the sound of my voice, not because I thought they would understand what I was saying.
5. Make reading a habit
Every night before bed time read a couple of stories. I love kids books. They are honestly my most favorite of all. And they are hilariously funny too. I’ve listed some of my favorite below if you want to have a look.
I’ve listed some of my favorites below if you want to have a look.
6. Surround your kids with books that are accessible to them
Surround your kids with books so that they can grab one whenever they feel like it. Make bookshelves low and accessible (and yes, when they are toddlers it will mean you will have to put it all back together every night, it gets better I promise!)
7. Feel empowered to help your kid to read, just because you didn’t doesn’t mean they won’t
YOU don’t have to be a genius or an educator to want your child to read. Look at it as a joint learning experience where you get to spend time together. Help them navigate reading and through doing so you might find yourself in a space where you begin to love to read again. It’s a win-win situation
8. Embrace libraries and use ALL their resources
Libraries are wonderful creations and there is usually so much more to a library than just books. It’s a valuable resource for meeting people, doing different activities and enjoying learning. Librarians are usually very passionate about reading and education and will be able to give you excellent advice about what books to read and when.
9. Create a reading nook (even if you live in a tiny apartment)
Truly this does not need to be some super sophisticated thing, it can just be a space in a corner somewhere with comfy blankets and pillows that your kiddo can sit in and read. Even if space is tight, there is always a little nook somewhere.
10. Knowledge = Power to create change in your life
Educate both you and your child to understand the importance of reading. Remind both yourself and them that reading, in some instances, is a luxury and a privilege. That is some parts of the world there are no books, and there is very little access to information. I absolutely LOVE THIS STORY about a young man who borrowed a book on wind-powered electricity and wanted to do something to help his village. Isn’t it just amazing what he did?! With one book, borrowed from the library he was able to give his whole village electricity. WOW!!
SOME OF MY MOST FAVORITE BOOKS:
Books For Little Kids
Books for Older Kids
Good luck and I would love to know how you are getting on. Also, let me know if you need any help in finding resources to get your kiddo to read, I would be more than happy to help you out.