Not all children are born loving to read. Some kids adore it while others merely tolerate it. Some truly hate it. However, reading is a vital skill every child needs to master.
After all, vocabulary is tightly linked to the number of books a child reads through his school career. Kids flounder in high school and college without strong reading skills.
So what do we do about children who loathe reading? How do we encourage a love of reading and create a family reading culture?
1. Reading Party Days
These are homeschool days where you drop science, writing, and history. Yes, you even drop math so you can spend the day reading your favorite books.
Order pizza, pop popcorn, and pour fizzy drinks to your hearts’ content. The goal is to relax, enjoy good literature, and teach your kids to love reading. Get more ideas for family reading time on our Pinterest board.
2. Hold a Family Book Exchange
Once a month, put your children’s names in a hat and let each child draw one out. Each child will be a secret Santa and give a sibling a book.
To be fair, you’ll likely do the purchasing, but your kids will love choosing and receiving a book. Be sure to have your children write a note inside the front cover before giving the gift. This way the books will be treasured for many years to come.
If money is a bit tight, go to a thrift store or used book store to make your selections.
3. Cozy Reading Spots
Do you have cozy reading spots in your home, on the porch, or in the yard for your kids to kick back with a good novel? It can be as simple as a comfortable chair with good lighting and a table next to it or a hammock in the backyard under a shade tree.
Create several of these locations in and around your home and encourage your children to use them by modeling the behavior. Thats right! You get to read too! After all, nothing is better on a rainy day than to curl up with a good book in a cozy chair.
4. Family Book Club
Start a family book club. Let your children take turns choosing the books, and don’t insist on high literature. Read as a family, maybe taking turns reading out loud and then engage in a simple discussion. Don't make it feel like school. Keep it interesting just as you would discuss a movie you watched together.
A family book club is a great way to boost reading, connect as a family, and encourage a love of reading. Be sure to make it a memorable family gathering with plenty of laughter and fun.
5. Visit the Bookstore
Don’t take your children to the toy store; instead take them to the bookstore. Make it a special trip by offering to purchase a book of their choosing.
The children will meander through the aisles of shelves, looking for the latest book in their favorite series. By splurging on books instead of toys, you emphasize the importance of books and reading.
Sara Dennis is a homeschooling mother of 6 children ages 4 through 18. After much research into homeschooling in 2000, she and her husband fell in love with classical education and used it as the foundation for their homeschool. Sara Dennis blogs at Classically Homeschooling.