Hey Good Mommas! Have you wondered how you can help your kids learn to read and develop a love for reading!
Yesterday, I had a “good momma” moment. One of my daughters, who is as big of a bookworm as me, finished a book that I read when I was about her age. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, one of my all time favorite books… I could go on and on about it!
Wow! When she finished it, we had a really good talk about the different poems in the book and the different ways we looked at what the author was saying.
As we chatted, I was reminded of the importance to raise strong readers, it has not been easy to help my kids learn to read. Each of them has their own personality and learning style.
Helping our kids develop their reading skills helps shape them into informed, intelligent, and compassionate individuals.
Reading is a big past-time that I enjoy, so most of my kids do too. But there are a few that have struggled and have needed extra encouragement.
I’ve gathered some tips that I find useful, to share with you, that I hope helps your kids learn to read and foster a love for reading as well.
Book Before Movie
Books are often turned into movies because they are great stories, that are often better on a page than on the big screen. Yes, one of my all time favorite book series tried to turn it into a movie… that didn’t go well.
As my kids are learning to read, I will encourage them to read the books their favorite movies are based on. Or better yet, make the rule they have to read the book before watching the movie. I have a friend who doesn’t allow their kids to watch each Harry Potter movie until their kids have read the book.
Other ones to read before watching for kids are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Little Prince, or the How to Tame Your Dragon series. Even the Captain Underpants series on Netflix is based on a book series!
Family Reading Time
Creating good reading habits for the whole family can be tricky when you have readers at different ability levels. Make reading a family event by adopting an all-inclusive family reading time. Choose a book together (or let everyone take a turn in choosing it) and have one person read aloud to the family. Do this, and I’m sure your kids will grow to love being read to as they are on their way to learning to read on their own.
In nursing, we have a saying “Watch one, do one, teach one.” As your older or more advanced readers are reading out loud during family time, they will actually become stronger readers. As we hone in on our reading skills, we start loving the books we are reading.
Read To Yourself
Role-modelling is still THE way to show kids good behaviors and habits. So, to help your kids learn to read, enjoy the sport yourself! The more you read, the more likely your kids will be drawn to reading too. Share with them books you loved as a child or find ones you can read together.
Read Before Bedtime
Do you let your kids wind down before bed by watching a show? Try replacing that habit with 30 minutes of reading before bed instead of screen time. If that seems like mutiny will break out, and you don’t have home fire insurance, start with just two evenings a week with less screen. Work your way up from there. Over time your kids will enjoy the books they have learned to read.
Let Them Choose Their Words
Famous classics that provoke thought and expand horizons are great for young readers. But so is comics and books oddly focused on bodily functions. I don’t understand those books, and I don’t want to read them, but my kids do. And when they’re done, they want to read more!
So, even if they’re not clambering for Shakespeare’s greatest hits, but are eager to read the next installment about a dog that has taken over a school, let them read it. Reading books that they enjoy is how they will learn to read and become more confident and find their love of written stories.
Reading books is such a special way to enjoy family time, either alone or as a family. Classics, or comics, whatever the preference may be, a good read is out there for everyone. As we help our kids learn and love what’s inside these books they will develop a wonderful life long habit.