Want to know how to get your kids to read more? Today we’re sharing five of our best tips!
The field of education is rife with debate and disagreements, but we all agree on one thing.
Kids need to read.
The problem? A lot of things compete for our kids’ time. Playtime, sports practice, piano lessons, and even mealtime and homework can make it difficult for our kids to find time to read. Before we know it, it’s been a week and they’ve hardly cracked open a book except at school.
What can we do?
5 Tips for getting kids to read more
1. Make it routine.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about having a houseful of kids, it’s that routines make everything go more smoothly. At our house, my oldest has her afternoon snack and then parks on the couch for twenty minutes with a book and a timer. If you’d like to listen as your child reads, have him sit at the kitchen table while you prepare supper. Another idea is to have your child read a book in the van on the way to sports practice.
What if you can’t find 20 minutes all at once? Stash a book or iPad in your purse and pull it out when you have five or ten minutes to spare. The twenty minutes don’t have to be consecutive.
What will your family’s reading routine be?
2. Make books available.
I’m a big fan of the library, and so are my kids. In fact, my Nine would be happy if we went to the library every day after school. But since she has five younger siblings, it’s just not possible. (Not if this mom is to stay sane, anyway.)
Thankfully we recently discovered the Epic! app. It’s got over 15,000 kid-friendly titles (no young adult fiction to sort through, phew!). We can access the books on our desktop computer, tablet, or phone. We can even download books to read on the run when we don’t have wi-fi access.
3. Find books that fit your child’s reading level.
Determining my kids’ reading level is relatively easy for me, since I taught reading for a number of years. But if you’re a parent without a teaching background it’s trickier. Ask your child’s teacher for suggested titles.
You should also talk to your children’s librarian. Your library’s books might be organized in a way that makes it easy to find books just right for your child. A word of caution: if you’re relying on Accelerated Reader book lists, proceed carefully. Often a book’s reading level is what your child needs, but the content is entirely inappropriate.
If you want a safe, easy way to find books that fit your child’s level, I recommend the Epic! app. I love that it has recommended age levels for each title. This makes it really easy for me to find books for my Six. He tends to pick books that are much too hard and then quit on the first page, but with Epic! I can quickly find appropriate titles by searching for books for ages 6-8.
I have a different problem with my Eight. He is an excellent reader, but doesn’t want to read books at his reading level because “they’re too long.” I’ve been able to get around this using the Epic! app. He can’t see how many pages the book is when he’s reading on a screen (tee hee).
4. Find books that fit your child’s interests.
This can be tough, especially if your child doesn’t enjoy realistic fiction or fantasy – which seem to be the easiest books to find at the library. If you’re struggling to find books that your child enjoys, I strongly recommend kid-friendly nonfiction. Some of our favorites are the National Geographic for Kids books. Epic! has a big selection of these, plus many more nonfiction titles. For a great list of nonfiction series for kids, visit This Reading Mama.
5. Read to your child.
I saved this one for last because it’s the most important. Even strong readers need to be read to! Reading to your kids will teach them the joy of reading, let them enjoy books beyond their reading level, and spark an interest in subjects they wouldn’t have discovered on their own. My favorite source for family read aloud titles is What Do We Do All Day. (You simply must check out her blog!)
P.S. I love that Epic! has audio books too. It’s not the same as having a parent read aloud, but it’s a great option for long car rides and quiet time.
Epic! is offering one reader a free six-month subscription! Enter below.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Epic!. All text and opinions are my own.
© 2016, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.