I know I'm not the only parent who wants their kids to fall in love with reading.
As a kid, I could often be found cuddled up in the floor of my walk-in closet with a book. My bookcase was in my closet, so I guess I would just pick a book and stay right there to read it!
My love for reading continued into my teen years, but I migrated from the closet to the couch, my bed, or the lounge chair by the pool. And even now as an adult, I make time to read every single day.
And I've always wanted my kids to love reading as much as I do.
Why is reading important?
Reading is good for us! Reading does all of this:
- More empathetic
- Expanded worldview
- Improves vocabulary
- Prevents cognitive decline
- Releves stress
How can we make sure our kids fall in love with reading?
First, we need to show kids that we enjoy reading by letting them see us read and reading books to them.
Once kids are reading well, usually sometime between 1st or 2nd grade, you can start encouraging them to read more on their own. Get leveled readers, the We Both Read books, and then move into easy chapter books. The Scholastic branches books are perfect for this age and reading ability!
Kids need those stepping stones to gain confidence with reading. And of course, you should continue reading novels aloud to your kids too!
By 2nd or 3rd grade, I highly recommend working with your kids to set up a yearly reading challenge. We do our reading challenges by calendar year instead of school year, but either way works!
My kids, who are 9 and 7, each took on the challenge of reading 100 books this year. I require at least 12 of them to be novels, but otherwise they get to choose whatever they want. For some kids, a 50 book challenge or a 25 book challenge will be perfect.
Let your kids choose what they read and make sure they have plenty of books available at home and through your library.
If you have a reluctant reader, I recommend checking out some graphic novels with them.
I have free challenge pages in the New Year Activity Pack, but you could also use Goodreads or Storygraph to keep track of the books your kids are reading! And there's also this great Book Review Journal that goes well with a reading challenge.
The final thing I think we should do to facilitate a love of reading is teach our kids how to think deeply about novels they read. This is one of the main goals of the LitHouse Learning Novel Studies. Doing just 1 of these studies each month will give your kids the skills they need to truly engage with the books they read.