5 Tips for Raising Readers – Mrs. Bishop

We’re a family of readers. I grew up with a Mom who loved books. She started reading to me at a young age and I fell in love with reading too. As a parent, it was important that my son loved reading as well. So we started him young. And it’s working!

He consistently chooses books over other forms of entertainment. He reads for pleasure- not punishment. His vocabulary is extensive and his spelling is vastly improving. All because of books! I thought I would share some of our family’s tips and tricks to raising a child who loves reading. I can’t say they’ll work for everyone, but in our case they’ve really helped.

1.) Read to them VERY young. We started reading to my son when he was a baby. Board books with only a word per page, even. As he got a little older, the books got a little more advanced. We pointed to the words as we read them. We read the same books over and over, watching for his favorites. I still tell people that he learned his alphabet from Dr. Seuss’s ABC book. I had it completely memorized and would recite it while driving the car, and he turned the pages in the back seat. Starting them young is really my BEST tip.

2.) Read with enthusiasm. Yes, some kids books are not exciting. But, by reading them enthusiastically, you’re making them more exciting to little listeners. Have you ever listened to an audiobook by a a monotone reader? SNORE! It’s the worst. Please don’t do that to your kids. If reading isn’t your thing- find someone who’s into it and let them read to your kids if need be.

3.) Let them help you choose the books. Go to the library and let them help choose what to read next. We used to do themes. Like, one week we’d read insect books. The next week, weather- and so on. Once he got a little older I let him loose in the kid’s stacks and let him choose what we’d read together. As they get older, get some books at their reading level, maybe some below if they find them more entertaining, and some above- that you can read together. Having a variety helps! It keeps their reading life from getting stale.

4.) If books aren’t their thing- try comics. Or graphic novels. One of my son’s favorite types of books to check out for him to read on his own, is Garfield comic books. He has spent countless hours cuddled up in a chair giggling out loud at Garfield, Odie, and John’s antics. Sure, it’s not Tolstoy. But, it doesn’t have to be. He’s reading- and also enjoying the act of reading. Which is how you start creating a book lover. He has also started spending his own allowance on comic books- Captain America, Woody the Woodpecker, and Mickey Mouse being his favorites so far. {I even found a few Back to the Future ones at an antique store I’m holding for him to read in the future!}

5.) Audiobooks. We haven’t utilized this enough in our home, but I have many friends who say audiobooks really helped their kids get into certain books. I mean I LIKE THEM. I tend to choose an audiobook on titles that I know are going to be a little too science and math heavy for me to enjoy reading. I’ve listened to both The Martian and Ready Player one that way, and enjoyed them all the more. Listen to books in the car. When you’re hanging out at home and coloring, cooking, or cleaning. My son is also really into those books on CD that come with the corresponding books that he can flip through. We listen to several on longer roadtrips.


How do you get your kids to read?

Stay tuned because I’m going to share some of our family’s favorite kid’s books ASAP!

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