Thursday, September 17, 2015

Simple Ways to Ensure Your Child Loves Books

This post may contain affiliate links.
This is how I found Kaitlyn most mornings this summer:
sitting in a spot of morning sun with her latest book.
One of my highest priority goals as a parent has always been that my children will love to read. I am passionate about reading. I have a degree in English. I set aside one day a week for myself to be my reading day--free from chores and to-do lists (which sounds more amazing than it actually ends up being--I am still a mother after all and I am not the type to neglect my children. But I do usually make it through a book on that day). I love to read and I always have.

I want my children to love to read and to turn to books. I believe the power to read and comprehend what you read opens the doors and windows of possibilities to your life. You can learn anything if you can read. 

My children are now 10, 8, 6, and 3. My three older children are all fantastic readers and above their grade level. All four of my children love books. Love. I feel like I have met one of my number one goals as a parent (don't worry--I won't stop working on it). In fact, as I have been writing this, my husband called me. As we talked about what I was doing, he asked what the post topic was. When I told him he said, "Ah, that's a good one. You are definitely an expert in that." I have become expert because I want to be expert. 

So how do you go about creating book lovers? Here is a simple list:
  • Read to your child every day.
  • Let your child see you reading regularly.
  • Surround your child with books.
  • Take your child to the library.
That really is it. Very simple. I actually come from a long line of readers. In fact, my grandfather loved to read so much that it was something that was explicitly talked about at his funeral. Even as a young child, I knew I liked to read more than most of my peers. I have always been analytical. As an elementary aged student, I determined that I loved to read because I saw my parents loving to read. 

As you may know, I love the book The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. When I first read this book, I felt like I found someone with even more passion for reading than I have. I found validation in my theories for why people love to read. I also found even more ideas for helping develop young readers.

In chapter 7, Trelease talks about things that impact interest in books. Here are some interesting statistics based on Kindergartners:

  • Children with a high number of books in the home were 80.6% at high interest for books and 31.7% for a low interest. Conclusion? Good to have books in the home. But let's go on.
  • When the child owns a library card, there is 37.5% high interest in books and 3.4% low interest. But you don't want to just own it...
  • When the child was taken to the library, there is a 98.1% high interest in books and a low 7.1% with low interest in books.
  • When a child is read to daily, there is a 76.8% high interest in books and mere 1.8% low interest in books. 
Doing these four things are so simple. You can do these things! 

Did you notice the staggering numbers in favor of going to the library? Those are impressive numbers. If it is available to you, take your children to the library regularly! Teach your child how to use the library. I once dated a guy in college who had no clue how to use a library. I had to teach him how to look up something in the library so he could do a research paper. That didn't last long. Allow your children to become familiar with the library.

My children go to the library once each week. We do this even with the older two who read a lot of books on their Kindle Paperwhite. There is a magic in being surrounded by the books. They both read hard copy books as well as their eBooks. 

You might think you have enough books that you don't need to go to the library. I know--we have hundreds of books. As Jim Crawford noted, "People who use libraries use them not because they don't have books but because they do have them and want even more" (page 126). 

Test these simple ideas out. And if you want to build passionate readers, I cannot recommend The Read-Aloud Handbook any higher. 

Related Posts:

1 comment:

John said...

My children both love to read books, especially with me and I love to read to them. My problem comes when I am reading to one the other always wants to read with me too and takes over. My 3 year old loves to read picture books with a plot whereas my one year old enjoys non-fiction and board books with pictures and captions. They argue over which book I am going to read to them and try and take over the reading session. I would like to spend time with each of them reading during the day aswell as before bed, but it always seems to end in tears for one child. I am happy for them both to sit either side of me and listen but they get so excited they seem to annoy the other one somehow. They both love to look at books on their own, and do so many times in the day, they just cause problems when they are both with me. I read to them individually before bed because my husband is usually home then to help. Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do during the day?



Related Posts with Thumbnails