Teaching your child how to read is not only educational, but it’s also a great way to bond with them too. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy reading or not, it’s still important to take the time to make reading more fun for your children. You’ll broaden their knowledge and help them to learn essential skills. The gift of reading is definitely something that will stay with them throughout their life. The question is how can you make it more fun?
1. Provide a reward
Now in most circumstances bribery is definitely frowned upon. However, it can be really useful when you’re trying to teach your children to read. The trick is to not see it as bribery, but rather as positive reinforcement.
Set small challenges and offer gold stars as a reward for example. After a certain amount of gold stars have been earned, they can be traded in for a reward. This can be anything from sweets to extra pocket money. The challenges can be something like learning a new word every day.
2. Give your child control over the books they buy
This doesn’t mean sending them off with money in their pocket to buy literally any book they choose! Go along to your local bookstore and help them to choose suitable books. If they have a choice in the ones they pick, they will be more inclined to read them.
3. Make use of eBooks
eBooks are the modern way to read and children absolutely love them. While it’s important you don’t completely eliminate printed books from the home, there’s no harm in letting your child read an eBook too – many of which can be found for free online.
4. Set a good example
Whether we realise it or not, our children usually follow the examples their parents set. If they see you reading they will be more likely to want to do the same thing. Set aside some time so that you can enjoy a little reading and show them that it’s a good way to spend leisure time.
5. Don’t limit them to just books
While you want to ensure your child can read books, help them realise that reading isn’t all about print and eBooks. There are many things they can read such as magazines, comics and even cereal boxes! Give them a variety of reading materials and this will keep them interested.
6. Let your children read aloud to you
Life can be fairly hectic and many parents are guilty of switching off after a long, tiring day. However, if you want to encourage your children to read more, it’s important to join in sometimes. Let them read out aloud to you. That way you can correct any mistakes they may be making. They will feel a sense of pride as they read along to you.
7. Give books as presents
When buying presents for your child’s birthday or at Christmas, make sure a book is included. If you act enthusiastically they will be more excited about reading the book and the gift they’ve been given.
8. Never set unrealistic challenges
In order to make reading fun, it’s important not to overwhelm your child. It can be tempting to give challenges like ‘reading until the next chapter’. What you need to remember is that each child reads and learns at a different pace. Instead of asking them to read up until a certain point, give them a time slot to read in. It doesn’t matter how many pages they finish, just as long as they stick to the time slot.
Image credit: John Morgan