How to Keep Your Children Reading

The more children read, the better they read. The better they read, the more they enjoy reading. Children who love reading are more creative and do better in school, since they are able to concentrate better in lessons due to superior listening and reading comprehension skills.

They also have a richer vocabulary and better language and communication skills.

Better readers are also better spellers. Most people spell by visual memory. If you see a word enough times you begin to recognise it. If you are not sure how to spell a word you write it out several different ways and see which way look right. The less children read, the less words they will see and so the less sure they will be of how to spell those words.

Maybe you are lucky and your children are never happier than when immersed in a book. However, it may be that your children need a bit of encouragement to turn off the television/computer/gaming console and open up a book. What can you do to get your children reading?

Encourage Your Children to Become Good Readers

children reading

There are a number of things which we, as parents, can do to encourage our children to become good readers. Getting children reading is about always finding new opportunities for them to read, or for you to read to them. One of the main reasons children don't read more is because they cannot find books they like to read. Help your children find books they love and you are on your way to getting your children reading more.

Motivate your children to read by setting up a reading log or trying this bingo reading activity. Help your children to really understand and engage with books, making connections with the characters, situations and settings. This will increase their enjoyment of books making it all the more likely that they will voluntarily pick up the next book.

Don't forget to be a good role model also by being seen to read yourself. And do continue to read aloud to your children. Up until the age of 13 or 14 years old children listen on a higher level than they can read. So when you read aloud to children below this age you can read stories with a level of complexity and interest which they would not be able to read on their own.

Listen to Audiobooks

Take every opportunity to expose your children to good literature and examples of fluent reading. Listening to children's books on CD in the car is a great way of using what could be 'dead' time to develop your children's listening skills and enrich their vocabulary. Hearing a book read aloud by a talented storyteller can really bring a story to life, highlighting humour where it might have been missed, and adding drama and intrigue to a story. As your children learn of the delights which can be found inside a book you will find your children reading more enthusiastically.

Many old classics, such as 'Black Beauty', 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', 'Treasure Island' or 'The Secret Garden' are in the public domain and recordings of these classic children's talking books made by volunteers can be downloaded for free onto your computer, iPod or MP3 player.

Read Newspapers

If you get a daily newspaper delivered, try to read a part of it together with your children every day. Even if you tend to read the news on-line, you can choose interesting articles to read together with your children. Encouraging children to read newspapers, either carefully chosen parts of adult newspapers or kids' newspapers, is an excellent way of extending your children's background knowledge and enriching their vocabulary. Newspapers contain no end of new situations and concepts to introduce your child to, all the time adding that precious new vocabulary to their repertoire.

With improved background knowledge and vocabulary your children will be able to understand more of what they are reading and will be able to read more fluently. This will make reading a more enjoyable experience and so something they are more likely to want to do again and again.

Join a Children's Book Club

Another way of getting children reading more is to join a children's book club. You could join a book buying club and involve your children in the excitement of choosing exactly which books they want from the catalogue sent to your home every few weeks. Or you could encourage your children to join a group reading club, where a planned monthly meeting with their friends provides the perfect peer pressure for finishing that book. Or perhaps your children would benefit from reading as part of a wider community and sharing their views of books they have read on-line.

So go and try whatever you can to keep your children reading!

You may also like:

Children's Book Lists
Children's Book Lists
Books for Reluctant Readers
Books for Reluctant Readers
Reading Strategies
Reading Strategies and Comprehension
Reading Games
Reading and Writing Activities

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