We know that you’re busy busy busy, but when you find yourself with a spare moment to read (or even just daydreaming of a time when you can read again!), what are your own favorite types of books to read? Do you find yourself gravitating towards the same genre or genres over and over again OR do you like to mix up the kind of books that you read for fun?
You might be wondering what your own reading life has to do with encouraging your child’s interest in reading, but what you prefer to read might be impacting your child’s reading life more than you think!
Think about it: Do you find yourself selecting books for your child that closely align with the type of books YOU like to read? How does that impact what you read with your child? Does your child have their own favorite genres? How does that impact what they choose to read?
Chances are, you might be unknowingly encouraging your child to mainly read books that align with what your interests are. There are many benefits to that, but it’s also important to consider your child’s favorite types of books and to also select books that they tend to gravitate towards.
In the past few years in education, there has been an emphasis on the importance of getting kids interested and passionate about reading. Educators and parents alike are truly beginning to understand just how vital this is for academic success!
Here are some tips that will help to promote your child’s interest and passion in reading:
- Child choice- When your child is reading for pleasure at home, mostly allow them to pick out the book that they want to read. They can read this book that they choose either independently, aloud to you, or you can even read it aloud to them.
- If you’d like to expose your child to more texts, maybe you select the genre or book and let your child choose the format (Do they want to read it as an e-book? Do they want to listen to it aloud?) OR mix up another combination of this. Maybe you select the genre or author and you let your child choose the book. You can guide them while still incorporating elements of child choice in it!
- Share book talks with your child. There are a lot of videos on YouTube (many are made by kids themselves!) that act as a short book review. The purpose is to let kids know about many of the other books that are available to them and to get them excited to read these new books!
- Share about your own life as a reader. You can informally incorporate elements of these guiding questions into your daily conversations or you can set aside time to talk about these with your child:
- When do you like to read?
- Why do you like to read?
- Where do you like to read?
- What are your favorite books?
- How do you become a better reader?
- What is the most challenging part of reading for you?
You can answer these questions and then also encourage your child to share their responses to these. You can also even share your responses through a graphic or poster, as seen below!
- You can give them a reading interest survey. If you look online, there are many free versions of these written out OR you can just discuss some of these questions with your child.
- How do they feel when they read alone, at school, with you, at home?
- How do they feel when reading for homework?
- Do they like people to read to them, with them, or alone?
- Do they like stories that are funny, happy, or sad?
- What’s their favorite TV show, game, toy, place to go, hobby? Would they like to read about these interests?
- What do they like to do with friends or at home?
- What are some things they’re good at? Who do they want to meet? What do they want to be when they grow up?
- What was the most recent book they read? Tell about it!
- If an author could write a book just for them, what would it be about?
- Would they want to read and learn more about any of these topics such as: cooking, crafts, planes, animals, art, science, detectives, jokes, cooking, sports, dancing, insects? You can provide more topics to help them to realize that books are written about a variety of topics!
Overall, student choice has a major impact on reading interest and success. What is just ONE tip from above that you can try out with your own child today? Be sure to let us know how it goes!
By Jennifer Blanchard