Without the ability to read, how would you know to stop at a danger sign? How would you know what to order from a restaurant menu, or be able to understand the work contract you have to sign? The truth is, people are using literacy skills all the time. But what if your son or daughter refuses to read? They could be missing out on developing key skills, opening up their imagination, learning about the world, and being inspired to explore. Here are some tips to help your children to read!
1. Why Don’t Your Children Read?
Ask them why they don’t want to read. Is it because they find it boring, or is there a deeper issue? Is it because they can’t read very well, and don’t understand or feel confident? Do their friends think reading is un-cool, and think they will get teased?
Finding out the reasons will help you to find ways of making their reading more enjoyable. If they are struggling, you can help them improve. If they simply haven’t found a story they like yet, you can help them explore different genres – there are many wonderful books for children to choose from, such as comedy or action.
2. Find Books Recommended by Children and Parents
If your children are trend-conscious, make books cool! Find out what their sport, music, and celebrity heroes read. Look for books that have a novelty factor, such as those with furry covers, sparkles, accessories, or pop-up functions. Find quality books about their favourite footballer, film character, or TV show. Be aware of current popular titles, and find out what other children and parents recommend.
3. Make Reading Fun!
Turn reading into an adventure. Create a reward-based “quest” where your children have to read a certain number of books. They could win a treat each time they complete one. Create a fun quiz to test whether they have understood the story. Or, if you are a keen reader yourself, make up a treasure trail, where your children find clues from the books they read, in order to lead them to their prize!
If all this is a bit too much work, there are plenty of schemes you can join in with, for example most libraries run reading schemes during the summer holidays where children can win goodies for reading a certain number of books.
4. Help Kids Relate to Books
Do your children love certain movies or television shows? There are plenty of books and publications out there to prompt their interest, from tie-in novels, to new stories, companion guides, or behind-the-scenes.
5. Help Children with their Hobbies
What hobbies do they have? What captures their imagination? Many children, particularly boys, can be hard to motivate when it comes to reading fiction, but they might read book after book on football or space. Go with the flow. It doesn’t have to be a work of exceptional literature just so long as they are reading! Take them to places relating to their interests too, and encourage them even further.
Finally, the important thing to inspire your children to read is to be enthusiastic about reading. If you are seen to enjoy it, whether that means reading a novel or looking through a reference book that interests you, the feeling might just rub off onto your offspring!