10 Ways To Get Your Children Reading More At Home


    This week are parent-teacher conferences at my school.  If I had to choose the number one question that most parents ask me every year it would have to be how they can get their kids to read more at home.  Many of them have noticed that their children are only interested in spending time on the Internet or on their electronic devices than with a good book.

    As a Literacy Specialist, I know all too well the importance of having kids read outside of school.  Not only does it improve their reading comprehension, but it also helps to better their reading stamina and their fluency.  These are all skills that they will need to navigate texts academically as well as on the state exams.

Here are some of the tips that I give the parents of my own students to help them support their children in reading more at home:

  1. Create a reading nook or area in your home where your child can read quietly without interruptions that is stocked with books, newspapers and magazines that they like to read.

  2. Buddy read with your child and discuss the book with them afterwards. This means you each have a copy of the book and you are reading it simultaneously.

  3. Purchase books for your child that have been made into films and have them compare and contrast the book to the movie.

  4. Subscribe to magazines that discuss some of your child’s favorite topics or subjects.

  5. Make regular visits to your local library with your child and choose books to read together.

  6. Set time aside every evening where each member of your family drops everything and just reads for a set amount of time.

  7. Read aloud to your child.  Even older children enjoy being read aloud to and it’s a great way to model fluent reading to them.

  8. Have the newspaper delivered to your home and read it with your child while discussing current events together.

  9. Create a reading chart and set reading goals with your child where they are rewarded for reading a certain amount of books.

  10. Make sure you have plenty of reading material available in your home in a variety of genres and about a variety of topics that will engage your child.

    Remember, our children get our cues about the importance of reading from us.  If they see you reading regularly and placing value on reading, they will also see it as being a valuable skill.  This includes the way that you handle books as well as how often you spend time reading them.  Don’t forget, reading is also a great way for families to spend time together that is not centered around technology.  This just might be the perfect excuse that you have been looking for to unplug once in a while…

Let’s Discuss:  What are some of the ways that you make sure that your children spend more time reading when they are home?

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  1. We’ll have to try the reading chart. We follow the tips to go to the library, read with them out loud, and let him look at books on his own. We are trying to get him ready for Kindergarten!

  2. I never had trouble getting my Daughter to read… but my one granddaughter… OH MY!! She would have gathered taking a beating. Now she is in college and doing very well so it all turned out great. These are very good tips for parents and grandparents trying to help their kids get ahead in life.

  3. It’s sad because our kids in Texas have to meet an AR Reading goal, therefore they can only choose out certain books to read. They feel like if they read a book they enjoy or like they are wasting time therefore making it not fun. It’s sad.

  4. These are some great tips to get my son reading again. A magazine subscription might just be the ticket.

  5. Fabulous ideas! I love anything and everything that encourage our children to enjoy reading! My sons and I read books together in our own mini-book club, which is great fun.

    • I know,.. Right Barb! Reading is so very important. So many good ideas here for helping kids to enjoy reading. I know my Grandson would like the reading chart.

  6. We’re fortunate our school system requires kids to read 30 minutes a day at home as part of the curriculum. If they don’t do it, their grade suffers.

  7. Jennifer Williams says

    My youngest is allowed to pick out two books he is really interested in for us to read and then three have to be outside his normal interest. I read the three others before we get to read the two he wants. We end up reading the same 5 books every day for a week before our next library trip but he at least begs me to read to him.

  8. I always had my head in a book as a child – I think my parents trouble was getting me out of reading. x

  9. The only way for us is to strip them of screen time. I try and sit down with them and a book during the day and before bed.

  10. I so agree about the monkey see, monkey do thing. I know there were many, many days when the kids would see me sitting on the couch reading a book and would grab one of their own and join me.

  11. Perhaps that is why I am still such an avid reader–my Mom essentially did all of that with me as a child. I had a friend and her daughter living with me for a while and I used to read to her. My friend as also a reader–and now so is the daughter!

  12. These are awesome ideas. I used to read aloud to my kids and they continued to read for recreation, even into adulthood.

  13. We make sure to read every night as part of our bed time ritual. Thanks for your list. We are using ut

  14. Reading aloud to my kids is what really got them into reading. They also liked reading aloud to me.

  15. Reading early on to your child is so essential to help them gain good reading habits.

  16. Those are all great ideas! My kids do enjoy reading.

  17. This is great and helpful! We read a lot and my one daughter really struggles!

  18. Reading is always encouraged, I find it’s the best way to have the children learn!

  19. Kiddo likes to read. I just wish she did it more. We just got full custody so it is something we are working on. Prior to that she didn’t really have anyone to push her or challenge her.

  20. I never liked reading as a kid. Now, I love reading when I can! Weird how that worked out 😛

  21. I love the idea of a “reading nook” in the home. Kind of like your own library. I think that is a great way to stress the importance of reading. My kids were very physically active and we live in a warm weather state so they were outside a lot, so I always worried about the amount of reading they would get done. But now that I look back, I think they read far more than a lot of kids do now days with all of the electronic devices available.

  22. We make reading a lot of fun by delving deeper in the books we read.

  23. Debbie Denny says

    Love all the ideas. Always read to the kids when they were young. Read to grandkids now.

  24. we had parents-teachers conference last week too….my daughter can read, she just have trouble with comprehension.

  25. That’s good that the parents are asking about the reading. I feel very fortunate that my two at home still love to read. Their older two brothers did too. I was reading with my oldest each night all the way up until he was 12! It’s still something we all remember fondly.

  26. Great tips. I used to spend hours reading with my kids when they were younger. We would frequently go to the library and look at books. I also used to buy magazines for kids.

  27. Great tips! My son has ADHD so he has trouble keeping still enough time to read himself, but I still read him aloud every night, and he enjoys it so much. I’m hoping that one day he will be able to read the books by himself.

  28. I always focused on letting them read what they wanted instead of books that I thought they should read. If they wanted to read the comics I would let them because they were reading.

  29. I have been wanting to create a book nook for awhile. I need to clean out an area and do so.

  30. Sooner or later we would need these things for our niece to practice at home too.

  31. These are some great suggestions. I would love to have a reading nook in my house.

  32. I have a Kindergartner this year and she is doing great with starting. She amazes me. I think she is so interested in books because she sees me reading very often in the evening. Inspiration anywhere, right?

  33. Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty says

    We started using books as treats – not reading them, but getting new ones to keep. I like the idea of making them as fun a present to get as candy or toys. 🙂

  34. I love the idea of creating a reading nook, and it’s a great idea to encourage kids to read aloud! My daughter goes to Girls Prep in New York, and her school celebrates World Read Aloud Day. Teachers and students dress up like storybook characters, and they read aloud throughout the day. We could probably continue this tradition at home, so that it wasn’t just a once a year tradition.

  35. Sandy Cain says

    SUPER tips! I especially like the one that ties in books with movies – the child will be inclined to read about a favorite movie. Also, a variety of genres is gteat, too. What’s your little boy interested in – cowboys? Get a bunch of Westerns. Your little girl a “Frozen” fan? Plenty of reading material on that! Reading is power!

  36. Thank you so much for these great tips! Reading is so important for everyone, including adults. I am definitely putting these tips to use with my son. He’s 4 and half. He used to love for me to read to him, but recently he has become very into the TV. The other day I said to him, “let’s read a book!” His response: “reading is boring, I’d rather watch cartoons on TV.” (Gasps) I almost had a heart attack! I’m being dramatic here, but this has made me realize that changes need to be made ASAP. These tips could not have come at a better time. : )

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