Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I posted a reel over on our Instagram page about displaying your children’s books with the cover facing forward. Normally we cram the books together with just the spine showing. That works for us adults, right? After that post I received several messages about how to encourage kids to pick up a book and read MORE.
Many ideas came to mind, so I’m sharing them all with you!
Encourage, encourage, encourage! They’re trying, and that can be celebrated! Reading is a life-long skill that we want them to learn to love.
Make reading as stress-free as possible, especially for a struggling reader. Provide as much support as you can. Sounding out every word is hard, maybe you can take turns sounding out the difficult words.
Remind them that reading is like learning anything new – it gets easier with practice.
Go to the library and let them pick out the books they’d like to read that week, helping them feel like they have some control over the situation.
Set a reading goal or expectation and write it down. Talk it through together. How many pages shall we read together today? Or how many minutes shall we read? Make a plan and honor it. If you’ve agreed to read 3 pages out loud to Mom, once she finishes the third page, don’t say “how about just one more?” Stick to the plan and let them take a break afterwards.
Another idea is to read aloud together – Mom reads a page, then your child reads a page, back and forth reading together for 10 mins or so, then take a break.
Build a fort with blankets and chairs. Fill it with pillows. Read together with flashlights inside.
Have Dad read with your child. Cultivate a special reading time with Dad, something just the two of them can do.
Maybe he could read aloud to you for 2 pages, then he can read on his own for the rest. Afterwards you can both take a break outside where he can tell you about what he read.
Set up a reward system – 5 pages read equals 5 mins of screen time or picking out dessert that evening!
Making reading FUN is still the key, at any age!
Ask your child to draw a picture of the perfect reading spot. Talk about their picture. Have them describe it to you. Are there any aspects of their perfect reading spot that you could incorporate at home?
Incorporate a “quiet time” for all the kids when the littlest are napping. Only books, or audio books, no screens or toys during quiet time.
Read to them before naptime and bedtime.
Children who are read to become good readers!
Cuddle on the couch together and listen to her read. It is 1:1 mommy time. Getting your undivided attention is golden!!
Consider letting your little one take a break from reading for a few days. Instead, mom does all the reading for a while, books of their choosing. Give them a chance to fall in love with reading again.
One thing I wouldn’t do is …
require a written “book report” for books has read. I tried this with my kids and learned the hard way! They will not read because they know a written report is due afterwards. Learn from my mistakes!
To check for comprehension, talk about the book instead of having them write (especially boys). Mom can ask questions and get a good sense of their reading comprehension.
One of the best parts of homeschooling is the flexibility – being able to adjust the daily routine as necessary so we can give the extra time where it’s needed most.
Give your struggling or reluctant reader some extra attention and extra encouragement until they have discovered or re-discovered a love of reading. It may take a week, or several weeks. It’s a little extra for mom, for sure, but you’re making a rich investment in your sweet child. And it’s only for a season. Soon enough they’ll be saying, “I can do it Mom!”