Reading is one of my all time favorite pastimes.
But, it’s not something I have always enjoyed.
In fact, I remember my gateway book (you know, the one that opened up the flood gates for me and ushered me into a life long addiction to the written word), it was The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.
My fourth grade teacher read it aloud to my class and I remember sitting in her classroom, head on my arms that were crossed on my desk, getting lost in that story as she read it. Every afternoon I waited, breath trapped in my chest, for her to settle the class so she could get that book out and read us the next part of the adventure.
I wanted to claw Michael Chainey’s eyes out when he ruined it with his dummy head, dummy face talking some days because then, instead of listening, we had to practice math facts.
I hate math facts and Michael Chainey to this day.
When she finally made it to the end of the book, I begged my mom to take me to the library so I could check out the entire series.
It sparked my interest in reading to life, and it’s been burring brightly ever since.
I’ve worked really hard to pass this passion on to my Dudes.
I want them to be good readers not just because it will make them better students, but because it will give them a pastime that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.
This is how I’ve been helping them get into the reading-for-enjoyment game.
Tips for Helping Your Children Love Reading
1. Ensure your child has plenty of reading options. Magazines, comic books, novels, nonfiction texts, everything but the newspaper can be found laying around our home (seriously, the newspaper is too expensive and biased and annoying).
2. Be a good I LOVE reading role model. My kids have been shushed more than once so I could finish the last few pages of good book. They know not to get between Mommy and her Kindle app.
3. Use reading as a reward. Like, you got an A in Language Arts? Sweet! Let’s go buy a book. Or, awesome, chores done no problem? Cool! Book card for you! My Dudes (especially Dude 1 who reads more than he sleeps) work for books.
4. Never use reading as a punishment. “FINE, MISTER! GO TO YOUR ROOM AND READ!” are words that should never be screamed from your mouth in anger. You don’t want kids to associate reading with something they have to do when they’re naughty.
5. Read for relaxation. Like on vacation and before bed. It will give them an activity to look to when they need some down time.
6. Share your favorite stories with them. Corduroy , The Little House , Love You Forever , Anatole , and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! are some of my favorite books for kids and I purchased all of them for The Dudes before they even came out of my belly.
7. Read aloud. We try to fit it in every night and when we can’t everyone is sad.
8. Encourage them to read to you. I try to stay awake when they do it. Sometimes I fail, but they know it’s not because their reading is boring; I’m just sooooo tired.
9. Watch movies made from books. Dude 1 and I love getting into books when we hear about them being made into movies and we read them simultaneously so we can chat about them before we make a date to catch the flicks together.
10. Make reading a party! The Dudes and I decided to have one this weekend while DudeDad was away for a race. We busted out the homemade fort, had pizza and cookies on the floor, and read some spooky (but not too spooky) stories. It was a fun way to spend an evening together; no electronics, no super busy schedules, just us and some books!
Want to host a super cool reading Pajama Jam at your place? ‘Course you do!
You can get all of the deets and some great resources and book party inspiration from Scholastic’s Reading Under the Covers page.
Scholastic and EVEREADY® are teaming up to help parents shine a light on reading, even in the dark! EVEREADY®’s high quality batteries and flashlights are reliable and affordable and can be purchased at Dollar General or Target.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of EVEREADY®. The opinions and text are all mine.