Raising Kids Who Love Books

raising readers

Raising readers is a topic I’ve actually written about before, but here are a seven new things I’ve noticed that draw my kids to books:

  • Limit electronics. I’m married to a computer scientist, and I think electronics have their place. But I don’t want digital learning to be the first thing my kids think of when they are looking for something to do.
  • Model reading. I love my computer, blogs, and books on CD, but I try to spend some time every day reading a paper book. E readers are amazing, but there is something different about being able to flip back and forth through a book.
  • Model writing – on paper. I find that my mind works differently with pen and paper than it does with keyboard and screen. Writing on physical paper forces me to slow down and think about my ideas. Thinking about ideas is key to enjoying and understanding complex plots in stories.
  • Engage in imaginative play with them. This helps kids understand characters and plots.
  • Ask them about the books they read. Talking about a story or lesson helps kids remember it. It also shows that you care about what they are reading.
  • Explore non-fiction. Kids love learning about things that interest them using books – and there is some fantastic non-fiction children’s literature.
  • Teach them to use books to find activities they will enjoy. Children’s science and craft books are full of wonderful ideas, and my kids love finding a project that we can all do together.

Why is it worth it? Here are seven benefits of raising readers:

  • Reading conquers boredom. Build a house full of interesting books, and you’ll always have a solution to the dreaded, “I’m bored.” (Oh, and if reading doesn’t work, cleaning is my no-fail backup.)
  • Reading helps children discover interests. Books open the doors to all sorts of topics and projects that kids and parents won’t come up with on their own.
  • Raise writers. Kids who read a lot tend to also write well, which is critical to helping others understand your message, whether it be in a school assignment or a cover letter for a job.
  • Reading develops empathy. Identifying with a character in a book can help kids understand classmates, family members, and friends.
  • Connect with your child. It’s easy to bond over a good book that you both enjoy.
  • Fuel imagination. Books are full of amazing ideas, and as a reader you have the pleasure of creating the visual images for what you read, and of imagining what happens to characters after stories end.
  • Peaceful homes. I love to see my kids curled up on the couch enjoying a good book – alone or together.

What do you do to encourage reading in your homes? What are benefits you see for your kids?

Comments

  1. says

    It’s easy with one. We read every day since Anna was a baby. I still remember reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas to her when she was 2 months old. It just never stopped since :)

  2. @UsborneJody says

    Great post! Along with all the other tips mentioned in your post and the comments above I would add to continue reading out loud to your kids even after they learn to read to themselves. Children can listen at a higher vocabulary level than they can read and the best way to increase their reading and writing vocabularies is to keep pouring words into their listening vocabulary. Try to read books that are 2 to 3 reading levels above where they can read themselves.

  3. Ella says

    From when I was a baby, mum read to me every night. It was always 3 books a night while I was reading picture books, and when I got to chapter books it was 3 chapters. She continued this until I was about 10, even though I could read to myself (which I did, all the time) She used to always make ups stories about what my dolls had been doing and stuff like that. She read me the first Harry Potter book when I was 5, taking the time to help me understand it. I think all of this is why I love books.

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