My daughter naturally loved reading. Though I have read to all my children from the beginning, my oldest seems to be the only child that loves reading at this point. My son will do just about ANYTHING to avoid it and though my youngest is 3, she seems to prefer singing and dancing to sitting down for a story. But I know there’s hope. If your child is showing little interest in reading, you may be feeling frustrated. Sometimes moms and dads have to get sneaky about getting them to love reading, but you can still turn your child into a reader, even if he is reluctant about it.
Here are some tricks that have worked for us or other friends that we are trying and I thought I would share them with you in case you have a reluctant reader but you are wanting to inspire a love of reading in your children.
The Early Bedtime
So what does an early bedtime have to do with instilling a love for reading? Well, here’s how we do it.
Set their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before they need their lights out. Say, if bedtime is supposed to be 830, consider heading to bed around 745 or 8 at the latest. Do your normal bedtime routine – brush teeth, go to the bathroom, read your devotions or story, whatever your bedtime routine is. Then, here’s what we use this to instill the love for reading…..give them a choice.
“It’s time for bed now. Would you like lights out now or would you like to stay up and read for 15 minutes?”
Unless my kids are overtired they almost ALWAYS opt for more time. What kids loves to go to bed, right? So, more reading or lights out? Hmmmm — MORE READING!
If they are young, they get one more book read to them and then they can look at a book or go to bed. My older ones can read for themselves or I might read one more chapter in a chapter book we are reading together. If they are older, I don’t choose what they read either, this is their time to choose. They can read whatever they want at this time until I come back for light out.
I don’t have to beg them to read or listen to a story. I don’t have to do anything except make it an option and watch them CHOOSE READING! WIN-WIN!!!!! Try it – see if it works for your kiddos!
Summer Reading Incentives
We do summer reading at the library every year. The kids LOVE IT! They are motivated by the trinkets and prizes and drawings and stickers. We all know kids are motivated by these things, right? Much to our chagrin actually – more stuff in the house, right? So, if your local library doesn’t have a summer reading incentive program, CREATE YOUR OWN! It’s easy~ here is all you need to have your own summer reading incentive:
Make sure the rewards are something desirable. They aren’t going to be motivated (most likely) by spinach for dinner. But maybe ice cream trip, park trip, favorite dinner, or some toys from the dollar store. Mine would do a book for a bottle of glitter glue -but hey, to each his own, right 🙂 LOL
Read the Book – Have Family Movie Night
This is a favorite in our house. When there is a movie that goes with the book, the kids are rewarded with a family pizza and movie night once the book is finished. They love it! I let the kids take turns picking the book. Usually, these are books that we use for our read alouds but it doesn’t have to be. Especially if you have a wide age range of kids. If you have a pre-teen or teen that wants to go see a movie coming out, remind them they will not be able to see if it they haven’t read the book. Or tell them you will take them to see it if they read the book. With younger children, you might just do it as a read aloud.
So that’s it! –the hints that we used. Three easy ways to turn your child into a reader for life. Following some of these hints may help you inspire a life-long love of reading!
How do YOU inspire a love for reading in your children? I would love to hear your ideas. And be sure to check out those journal and logs, they are SOOO cool!