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12 Tricks to Make Your Child a Daily Reader

November 22, 2011

Daily reading is critical to a child’s academic performance.  Not all kids are thrilled to be handed a book though so here are some tips to help make reading on a daily basis more effective and something less than a daily fight.

  1. Have good reading hygiene: Turn off the TV, radio, computer, or whatever. Don’t be distracted by other things reading time is for focused reading.
  2. Read to each other: Reading time can also be good family time. Many children will enjoy having the audience as they demonstrate the skills they’ve worked so hard to learn. Do correct mistakes, but be sure not to be too critical, they should feel good about how much they’ve learned.
  3. Encourage the older children to bring favorite books and magazines along with them wherever they go. This also provides you with a great response for the timeless complaint, “Mom, I’m bored!”
  4. Bedtime can be good reading time: Many kids resist reading, but when presented as an alternative to ‘going to sleep’ many will opt to read. This is a good way to get them in bed and not moving, which is usually a precursor to sleep.
  5. Ask relatives to send young kids letters and emails: Have the kids read them out loud. Even if they’re short, this type of reinforcement can help kids cement their reading skills.
  6. Set a good example: Your kids should see you reading too. It’s hard to make a credible case to a child why reading books is a good thing if they never see you read. Countless studies have shown that parents who are passionate readers raise kids who are readers too…
  7. Schedule a family reading time: Not only does this help cover the issue above, but it’s good family time and it helps chalk up some reading time for the kids.
  8. Let Hollywood be the inspiration: Do they love a particular movie, or are excited about going to see one when it comes out? Find the book, and rejoice when they reflect as they walk out of the theatre, “The book was better”.
  9. Participate in the local library’s summer reading program: Every library in the country that we’ve seen has a summer reading program for kids. This offers the feedback and rewards needed to get many kids really reading on their own for the first time. IT even spares you from having to buy the books!
  10. Visit a comic store: Although it may not be Chaucer, comics and graphic novels can be great reading material and can offer the engagement that visual learners need.  Over the summer you might even try and coax your comic oriented child into writing his or her own comics.
  11. Read cookbooks: Again the visual learners and gustatory  oriented kids will enjoy the pictures in cooking magazines and cookbooks and may enjoy trying some new recipe. This also helps children relate to reading as a real world skill. And, NOTHING motivates reading like the promise of a dozen fresh baked cookies upon completion.
  12. Get a magazine subscription: Got an animal fan? Try Zoonooz from the San Diego Zoo. Young boys might well get into Sports Illistrated for Kids. For any topic out there that might get your children excited there is a magazine.
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