5 Things You Can Do to Get Your Child to Read More… and Enjoy It!

One of the reasons I decided to homeschool my children was that my middle son was having trouble reading, and didn’t mind at all.  He would tell you in a minute – “I don’t read.” He wasn’t upset about it, it was just a fact – his fact.

Here are some of the things I did to encourage him to read more.

1. Make going to the bookstore a treat. My kids LOVE the bookstore.  Me – not so much.  Kids just want to spend time with their parents, especially the ones that they don’t see as often, so that would be “daddy time”.  They walk the aisles of the children’s area, and some days, if they are really good, each kid gets to pick out a book from the clearance rack.

2. “Tell me something I don’t know.” Kids love to amaze their parents.  So I challenge mine to read a book and find something in it that even Mommy doesn’t know.  They’ll work hard to find the most obscure facts!

3. Set up a special spot in the house that is reserved for reading. I think that it is built into children to want to do exactly what they can’t do, or be places that seem out of reach.  So if you set up a special reading corner that can only be used for reading, the kids will do what they have to to gain entrance.  It doesn’t have to be a big spot, just comfortable – with big pillows, maybe a kid-sized chair, and good lighting.

4. Set aside 30 minutes for “independent reading”. I let mine pick out any books they want, as long as it is at their regular reading level or above, and read for 30 minutes.  No TV, no radio, no games, just reading whatever they feel like.  This works particularly well for my oldest, since he has much more serious books to read for school, he enjoys getting a chance to read books just for his enjoyment.

5. The 3 minute book report. Set up a telethon type board or chart for the kids to fill in each time they read a book, but they can’t fill it in or add a star unless they give a quick book report that is under three minutes – not written, just a quick synopsis of what the book was about.  This works nicely for those with siblings, because it encourages the other children to either read the book or ask questions of the older child and challenge his understanding of the story.

These work for us – are there other techniques that you have found helpful in getting your kids to enjoy reading? Please share in the comments section.