Reading is essential, but getting kids to enjoy reading can be quite a challenge. There are, however a few simple steps you can take to help kids to enjoy reading.
There are two primary areas you need to consider. Firstly you need to find something they actually want to read, content is key. Ultimately you need to get them to read school books, but this is not the place to start.
Remember that the more they read the quicker and easier reading will get and then the easier their school work will become. School work is much easier the more competent a reader you are.
So how do you choose something for your kid to read? You have to tune this to what your child enjoys. I have been forced to invest in just about ever Star Wars book ever printed, but I have a friend who has bought more joke books than I even knew existed. My son has no interest in telling jokes, he much prefers fantasy stories, he hasn’t even seen the Star Wars films, but he heard about them in the playground and they caught the imagination. It doesn’t matter what you buy, so long as your child will find it interesting.
A book given as a reward will often be more respected by a child. If your kid has just done well at something, this is a good time to get a new book. I like to head to the book shop together and choose something jointly.
The second thing which you need to consider is where you child is going to read. I strongly recommend creating a ‘reading space’ in their room and also a time for them to read on their own, ideally just before bed time.
As far as the space goes I suggest a futon sofa bed in their room with a ‘box’ next to it so they can keep their books in the box. The futon sofa bed is a great way for them to have a seat, and a bed for when friends come to stay, you can also get these in just about any size, so they are great for small bedrooms as well. You can also make this space seem more like an adult space with a side light and a drink mat so that they can take up a glass of water or bedtime drink with them. The box is a good way for them to have somewhere for the books they are reading at the moment and to be able to keep them separate from their learning books.
There is one other way to really speed up your childs reading capabilities and that is to get them writing. When you set up their ‘reading space’ be sure to give them a diary or journal and a pen. This should be kept in the box and each day they can write down where they got to in the book and if they what to get a new book, or simple note down what they must remember the next day. Just by writing the date and a sentence each day they will consolidate their literacy skills.
So to successfully get your kids reading you need to create them a space in which to read, give them something fun to read, and encourage literacy through writing. Before you know it their abilities will have leapt forward and you will be amazed at their progress. Of course, remembering all the time to reward good reading with more books.