How to Encourage Good Reading Habits in Kids
The benefits of reading are vast and varied. Did you know, for example, that reading for just 30 minutes a day can boost brainpower, reduce stress and improve academic performance? The problem is that it’s difficult to establish good reading habits in your life – particularly if you don’t start reading at an early age.
If you want your children to get all of the benefits that come with reading, it’s important to establish good reading habits when they’re young. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help this process. Here’s how to encourage good reading habits in kids.
1. Create a reading space at home
The first thing you can do to encourage good reading habits in kids is to create a dedicated reading space at home. Make it as cosy and comfortable as possible, and fill it up with loads of great reading material. This is important because it helps your child to associate reading with a safe, comfortable and welcoming space. It also allows them to see reading as a standalone activity, and not just something you have to do at school.
2. Read with your kids at least 4 times per week
It’s important to establish a regular reading schedule with your kids. Reading with them for just 20 minutes per day has been proven to have a wide range of benefits for their development. Aim to read with them at least 4 times per week, and not only will your child get all the benefits of reading, but they’re also starting to develop good reading habits. And that means they’re much more likely to continue reading as they get older.
3. Let your child choose the book
If you have managed to set up a regular reading session with your kids – in your dedicated space, of course – you might find that they’re not always engaged with the activity. That’s absolutely fine, and it happens with (almost) every kid. To get around it, first remember that you don’t have to stick rigidly to the 20 minute reading time. If your child really can’t engage with reading, just come back to it another time. There’s no point trying to force it.
Another option is to always let your kids choose the reading material. Not only does this increase the chances of them enjoying the activity, but it also gives them more independence when it comes to reading. It might motivate them to read independently in the future.
4. Don’t just read books
It might be that your kids don’t enjoy reading books – yet! Again, that’s nothing to worry about. Just remember that there is so much more to read out there other than books. Test out things like magazines, comics, e-readers and newspapers to see if they react any better. This is also another chance to let your kids guide you. Let them choose the reading material that interests them the most and they’re far more likely to stay engaged with the activity.
5. Show them that you enjoy reading too
When it comes to reading with your kids, you have to practice what you preach. When you’re not reading with them, you should make it clear that you enjoy reading too. You can do this by leaving plenty of reading material around the house, reading in front of them and talking to them about it when possible. All of this helps to ignite their own interest in reading and establish habits that will last a lifetime.