Encouraging Kids to Read

Encouraging Kids to Read


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If your child doesn’t read on their own, work on encouraging them to do so.

Being able to competently read is one of the biggest advantages that any child can have in this world. Reading at or above their grade level will set them on a path for success in the future. Reading is used in every part of learning as your child grows, and it’s important that your child is able to keep up and understand what’s going on. Work on reading with your child as they learn and grow.

Unfortunately, it’s very common that kids don’t want to read. These days, there are so many other forms of simple entertainment that your child would rather do something simple and mindless rather than putting their mind to reading. Many parents are actually the same way - they’d simply rather look at their phones or mindlessly watch television than pick up a book and engage their mind.

Regardless, if you want to put your child in the best place to succeed, then helping them to read early and often is a great way to do so. While some kids will jump into reading and do it easily on their own, most won’t. It’s hard work. You’re going to have to work with your child to get them through their reading, especially early on in life. By the time they’re in middle school and beyond, their habits will mostly be formed.

As you’re likely aware, forcing your child to read isn’t going to work. Forcing kids to do anything is almost always a recipe for disaster and a great way for them to resent it later. Rather than forcing a child to read, you need to find a way to encourage them to read. There are a few different strategies to make this happen, but forcing and punishing a child around reading is not one of those ways.

First, you should be reading to your child aloud every single day. At some point in life you’ll stop doing so, but your child will probably be getting close to teenage years before that happens. Read simple board books when they’re little, and move into chapter books as you can. Try to stay above the grade level they are reading at when you read to them as it’s easier to listen to books than read them on their own.

When it’s your child's turn to read, sit down with your own book and read as well. If your child is still at the age where they want and need help, then sit next to them and help them as needed. Some kids will really want the help whereas others will not want it at all. Sit close by and read your own book if they’re not interested in help - them seeing you read will help them to want to read as well.

Find books that they’re interested in. You’re not going to sit down and read a romance novel if you have no interest in the genre. Similarly, your child isn’t going to want to read a book about something they have no interest in either. For resistant readers, this is one of the main reasons they dislike reading even more. They’re not reading things they like. Are they going to have to read things they don’t like? Sure. But for your free reading time at home, you should find books that they actually enjoy.

Encourage your child to read, and set them up for success. Read with them and help them see the joy in reading.


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