As a parent with children, it is not enough just to encourage your child to read in school or for homework. You must encourage your child to read for enjoyment to create a lifelong bond between them and their reading. Many studies show that recreational reading is just as important as reading textbooks for a specific class.
As education continues to absorb and implement the research behind reading, teachers are giving more choice in class and encouraging outside reading for fun. Statistical evidence reveals that “leisure reading improves not only comprehension, but it enhances student scores” on both the reading and the writing portions of various standardized tests (Gallagher, 35-36).
Reading for enjoyment is not just a ‘school thing’; it is a lifelong skill. When we make an effort to engage children through reading, we are making an impact beyond the years they are with us. Penny Kittle, author of Book Love, sums up the responsibility teachers and parents of young adults can adopt:
“I believe each of my students must craft an individual reading life of challenge, whim, curiosity, and hunger, and I’ve discovered that it is not too late in high school to lead a non-reader to reading. It’s never too late.”
To get the most out of your child’s “leisure reading”, we have provided 5 tips to engage your reader at home.
5 Awesome Tips to Engage Your Reader at Home
1. Encourage Choice
As a parent, you can influence your child to read simply by making interesting choices available. Spending an afternoon in a bookstore with your child, and talking about what you want to choose and why, can make choice in reading a realistic option for your child.
2. Let Your Kids See You Reading and Tell Them About It
The more you demonstrate that you learn from reading, the more likely they will be to stop and read what they are curious about. When children see a parent choosing to read, they will model that behavior and read as well.
3. Read What Your Kids Read
Being immersed in your child’s life may already be a top priority, but knowing what they read and experiencing it for yourself will give you both common language and could even open up opportunities to discuss deeper topics and views.
4. Talk to Them About What They Are Reading
Asking your child what they are reading can have many positive outcomes. If you are reading the same book, it can show in a small way that you are interested in what they do.
5. Validate Their Interests
Let your child know they don’t have to like every book they read. Sometimes we don’t enjoy reading a book. Ask them why they don’t like it, or talk about the last book they did like in order to give them tips on how to find a new book to enjoy.
Who knows? You might find a great new book and encourage your child to read at the same time. Enjoying reading will open new worlds that will develop lifelong skills for your child, and benefit their academic development as well.
What additional questions do you have about engaging your reader? Ask your questions in the comment section below.
Written by Amber McAvoy
YA books referenced: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart