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?