As a child, I use to hate reading. I struggled to the point that my parents had to hire a tutor to help me, however, even when I advanced I still didn’t like to read. It wasn’t exciting for me. It wasn’t until my parents separated that I found a love for reading. My mom took me to this little mom and pop bookshop off of Morelle and Frankford in Philadelphia. When I walked in there were maybe 4 or 5 rows of books and at the beginning of the first row, there was a table with Harry Potter paperbacks. I was probably 12 or so at this time. Harry Potter was somewhat of an escape for me. My parent’s divorce wasn’t always the prettiest so I read and kept on reading. Now, I buy books even though I don’t always have time to read them. Just hope to find the time sooner or later. Now, lets talk about the ways that you can use to help motivate your child to read.
Just as I did, Jaiden struggled. I wanted him to enjoy reading as I do now, but when you struggle it can really destroy your confidence and make you feel hopeless. As if you will never be able to get it and this can become frustrating. To get Jaiden where he needed to be I had to focus on his likes and what he thought was interesting. With some work, Jaiden was not only able to learn to read, but he was also able to pass his classmates.
Last year Jaiden was at the top of his class in reading with the highest reading level. Now, this isn’t something I told him because I didn’t want him to get a big head, but Jaiden was reading at a 6th-grade level and was only in 4th grade. Motivating a child to read can be challenging but I’d like to share with you all the ways that worked for Jaiden and me.
Five ways to motivate your child to read.
As we all know, children love to mimic us, especially when they are toddlers. They like to follow behind and copy us. It can be anything, even cleaning, and they will do it because they see you doing it. Show your little ones that reading is a good thing. You do this by reading to them and picking up books for yourself. This is probably one of the best ways to motivate your child to read.
Focus on their Interest
Reading doesn’t mean your child has to just read stories. Jaiden loves Minecraft, dinosaurs, and comics. By purchasing books that are in the interest of Jaiden it was easier to get him to pick up a book. He has Minecraft books that help him in the game, he has some comic style books and he has lots of kids encyclopedias. Reading alone is educational. Your child will learn new words and how to use them to form a sentence. Any kind of reading is better than no reading.
It’s important to make time for reading. Jaiden has a bedtime of 9 pm on school nights so we utilize his bedtime to make time to read. At 8:30 pm Jaiden is to read for 20 minutes. It’s not too long of a time to read but it’s enough to get him through some pages and learn something new or pique his interest on what may happen next. This is also a great time to use the “Show Them” method as well. Grab your own book and read as well.
Read with Them
If your child is reading a story it may be a good idea to read the same book. This is a great way for you and your child to have a conversation about the book and see what they are comprehending and what they may need help understanding. It’s also a great way to spend time together and to help your little one express their thoughts. With you reading the same book you will have a better understanding of what your little one may be expressing.
Head to your local Library
Introducing your child to books early on is always a good idea. Local libraries often have storytelling events and others. It’s a great way for your little one to be introduced to books and may even find some new friends as there will be other children there. Libraries are free and it’s a great way to get out and spend time together.
Remember every child is different and not all children will like reading even if they are at the level they should be or advanced. While it’s important to get your child to read, don’t force them. You don’t want your child to be forced to read as when it comes time to read for school and such it may make things a bit difficult. They may avoid the school reading material because they are pretty much sick of it, so to speak. Let your children read the things that interest and show them how it can be enjoyable.