Every child is different. For some, it’s nearly impossible to pry a book out of their hands; they’re constantly reading at the dinner table or trailing behind you at Publix, nose in a book. For other children, the exact opposite is true: it’s nearly impossible to get them to read. We believe that it’s important for Brevard County schools students to enjoy reading, but we understand that it can be a challenge! Take a look at a few ways you can encourage reading at home.
Be a Role Model
If your child sees that you love to read, they’re more likely to love it, too. Talk to them about the book you’re currently reading or about the books that you used to read when you were their age.
Talk to your child about the books they’re reading. Ask questions, and really listen to their answers. Make sure they can see that you’re genuinely interested in what they’re interested in, especially when it comes to the characters and stories that they’re spending all their time with.
Let Them Choose
There’s a good chance that your child thinks they don’t like to read because they haven’t found material that engages them. Encourage your child to choose reading material that aligns with their interests, whether it’s a book about ancient Egypt or a story about a family who goes on adventures together.
Create a Reading Nook
Gather the softest blankets and pillows you can find to create a cozy reading nook. A comfortable, well-lit space may be just the inspiration your child needs.
Read Out Loud
Set aside time to read books out loud together. This is a great way for your child to practice without feeling pressured or embarrassed. And if your reader is still reluctant, suggest they read picture books to younger siblings.
Limit Screen Time
If your child can’t choose their default source of entertainment — television, video games, or even a phone — they’ll be much more likely to dive into a new book.
Create a sticker chart, and give your child a sticker for each book they complete. After a predetermined number of stickers, reward them with a toy from the dollar store or a special dessert, or let them choose the movie for family movie night.
Read with Puppets
Get a few finger puppets or stuffed animals and make your nighttime stories an interactive, theatrical experience. You and your child can pretend that the puppets are reading the stories. Make sure you make up funny voices for each character.
Visit the Library
Visit the library each week, and encourage your child to grab as many books as they can carry. Help them find stories that they’ll love, and remind them that the librarians are experts who are more than happy to help guide them to an exciting new book.
“Reading is Hard!”
If your child struggles with reading, there’s a good chance they’re not going to want to do it. Ask them what would make reading more fun, and see if they can help you identify their areas of weakness. Address these areas in a supportive, lighthearted way. As your child becomes a stronger reader, they’ll enjoy it more and more. (And maybe they’ll love it so much that you’ll have to pry that book out of their hands at the dinner table, too!)
At Brevard County Schools, we challenge students to be creative and critical thinkers who integrate faith, moral leadership, and compassionate service to make a better world. Through a low student-teacher ratio, classroom technology, and a variety of enrichment activities, we strive to inspire excellence in our students. Contact us to learn more!