Children who read regularly demonstrate increased vocabulary comprehension and even better brain functionality, which means reading can be motivating for kids.
Just like with most other complex skills, “practice makes perfect” when it comes to reading. For most people, reading isn’t a skill that can be perfected without putting in the time to regularly read texts at increasingly challenging levels. However, if reading begins to feel like a chore as they get older, a child may become disinterested.
Disinterest, and sometimes outright refusal, can be reflected in lower national reading proficiency scores.
Dwindling scores can affect a student’s reading interest at school and leisure reading at home! Why would they lose interest in leisure reading? As discussed by Reading Rockets, “One possibility is that students don’t differentiate among different types of reading. They perceive that the reading they are required to do for school feels like work, not a leisure activity. And that feeling changes their attitude towards leisure reading.”
What can be done to reverse that mentality once children begin to view reading as a necessary evil rather than a fun activity? Check out our list of proven methods to encourage reading from a young age. These steps can be taken to help your student change a negative perception of reading to a more positive outlook!
Make a Routine
To successfully establish a routine, pick a time of day when you and your child can sit down to read for at least twenty minutes. Children begin to avoid reading as a relaxing and entertaining activity when it becomes work.
When establishing a routine for reading, it is important that your child is given a chance to pick out what they want to read. This will prevent them from adopting avoidance behaviors, and it will foster a positive relationship with reading.
This step requires a bit of balance. While you want to praise your children for choosing to read, you don’t want to over reward them to the point where it seems as if they are being paid off to do so. Rewarding your child for choosing to read can be as simple as praising them in front of others or even surprising them with a tangible gift that is relevant to the book they are reading.
Merchandise relevant to your child’s favorite book makes a great reward for reading! For example, the Little Dreamer books, “Good Night, Little Dreamer” and “Wake Up, Little Dreamer,” also have coloring books inspired by the original books that make an encouraging gift for children!
Bond Over Reading
With younger and even older children, parents can choose to read with their children as a way to bond over reading. Picking a time each night to read a picture book together or even a chapter out of a longer book will promote a sense of togetherness and a love for reading.
Take time to review the images of the cover and inside of the book and discuss your thoughts about the book’s message. Using a team approach to reading can significantly increase your child’s interest in the activity.
Although a child can begin to lose interest in reading, all hope is not lost! Making a loving low-pressure routine out of reading can encourage children to fall in love with the activity. In addition, reading with a guardian and receiving regular praise are two proven methods to instill a love for reading.
We are consistently on the lookout for strategies to energize, enlighten, and empower children worldwide. To stay updated on today’s best practices when it comes to reading, we encourage you to Join our Email List! Receive a Free Gift for Kids when you subscribe below.