I grew up reading all the time. My parents and grandparents purchased books for me all the time. Despite living with a low income, my mom bought me a book each payday and took me to the library as often as I wanted. She understood the importance of reading.
Now, as an adult, I am thankful she encouraged me to become a lifelong reader. I still have stacks of books everywhere, and I bring a book wherever I go. Now, I want to encourage my children to be lifelong readers too.
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Here are some ways I'm encouraging my kids to be lifelong readers:
1. Talk to Your Kids Often
I told you these are simple ways! Talking to your kids from birth is essential. Immerse your children in conversations; it is beneficial for their brains. Talk to them, even when they can't talk back.
2. Read Out Loud
Researchers tell us that reading to our kids is the most critical way to make our kids become readers. Reading to them also helps them become better readers.
As we read to our kids, we expose them to new vocabulary words and grammar. Reading exposes them to different cultures and exciting adventures that spark their imagination.
3. Visit the Library Often
Take your kids to the library as often as possible. Let your child pick as many books as possible to take home and enjoy. Pick some out for your children as well, but let them look at the books and decide if it might be interesting. Kids are more likely to read books about what interests them, but encourage them to explore new topics.
4. Set Time to Read Each Day
If you want your child to be a lifelong reader, make reading each day a priority. Set aside time each day to read, whether you read aloud to your kids or your kids go to their reading space to read alone.
Related: How Reading Aloud Benefits The Whole Family
During that time, you should read as well! Kids need to see their parents reading; it makes it more real. You can't encourage your child to do something or act a certain way but never do it yourself. If you want your children to read, make sure they see you often reading as well.
5. Keep Plenty of Books and Magazine Around
Kids need plenty of materials around to read if you want them to be a lifelong reader. Make sure the books you keep around vary in topics, genres, and authors. Stock up on new and factual magazines for kids to read if they are fascinated by a new subject. An animal magazine may spark a brand new fascination!
6. Create a Comfortable Reading Space
Reading is even better when kids have a comfortable space to retreat. That might be a window seat with pillows and a blanket. It could be a corner in their room where you can put a chair with a footrest. Another option is a hammock outside with a pillow and a soft blanket. Get creative!