Nothing's more important to your children's future than to encourage reading. Children who spend time with books are better citizens and more successful.
On this page visitors to this site share how they encourage their own children to read.
If you have your own tips, I hope you'll share! Use the reading tips form at the bottom of this page.
Mom Gina reports:
Aside from actually reading to our children everyday, we try to create a reader-friendly environment.
I have specific reading areas set up in different areas of the house. Our living room, as well as our family room, has two small child-size chairs with a basket of books between them (which I rotate out per holiday/season to keep "fresh"). Both of my boys have a bookcase and reading area in their bedrooms. I think that creating a "reader friendly environment" is one more important step along the way of developing a lifelong reader.
Both of my boys (both under the age 3) CHOOSE to read to themselves each day.
When I do workshops in the schools, I give blank books (8 pages plus a cover) to students, and let them write and illustrate their own book.
In afterschool workshops, where I have them for several days, I take their artwork for the cover, their title, information for their "author biography" and a photo of each student (I take my digital camera with me), home with me over the weekend.
When I come back the following week, they get a blank book with their personalized cover and blank pages inside where they can write and illustrate their story. This does wonders for self-esteem and my after-school program students are from Title I programs, so making a difference there is huge!
- Kas Winters, Winmark Communications
Debbie has her children earn "screen time" (tv, computer, video games) by reading. (The grown-ups do it too!) A minute of reading earns credit for playing or watching.
Debbie reports: "Our reading time now far exceeds our screen time!"
This same mom has another way to encourage reading.
She got together with the moms of some of her daughter's friends to form a mother/daughter book group. The girls were nine at the time, and the group still meets! Debbie explains how it works:
We chose a name, which was ultimately a combination of many suggestions, and the MaD (Mother and Daughter) Time Travelers were born.
We meet monthly (as best we can). We have met at local libraries, Barnes and Noble and a local retirement community. (The retirement community is a new location for us, and we are hoping to add a few 'grandparents' to our group by letting them know what we will be reading when we visit their place.)
We make our selections based on member recommendations and votes. The daughters bring us lots of contemporary titles, and we Moms try to insert classics.
We even created a 'members only' Yahoo group to keep track of what we have read, what we suggested that didn't get voted in (for when we are looking for book ideas) and links to cool reading sites. I added yours!
Rene's job is to encourage reading. She's a reading specialist...
I work with children who struggle with reading. Some have a learning or reading disability like ADD/ADHD or dyslexia.
I find teaching a sequential/systematic phonics program and using decodable books at the same time will encourage reading among these students who have spent hours thinking they were too stupid to learn. I have them read these books at least 3 times. As they proceed through these sets of books, they gain confidence and soon they want to try harder books.
A sequential/systematic program is one that teaches one or two phonetic sounds at a time. For instance oe, and ie might be taught together because both are used at the end of a one syllable word. Each program lays out the sequence in which sounds will be taught. Worksheets and readers are based on what HAS been taught. No words are used that the student wouldn't be able to figure out based on what s/he has already learned.
The decodable books I use are from EPS (Educators Publishing Service, A School Specialty Company). I use Primary Phonics Series for children who are just beginning to read (PreK to 1st grade). Start using these as soon as children have learned about 10 consonant sounds and the short vowel sound of a. For children who are 1st grade to 3rd grade, I use The Alphabet Series.
Some children will work through these readers quickly. Other children may struggle and need to read them twice or even 3 times.
Find Rene - or hire her! - at Learning Disabilities Reading Tutor.
On our reading page, I share some of my own tricks on how to encourage reading.
How do YOU encourage your children to spend time with books? If you have your own tricks, please share them. Use the Reader's Toolbox form below.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.