Encouraging Children to Read for Enjoyment - Kumon

Encouraging Children to Read for Enjoyment

Do your children read for enjoyment? It is a fact that reading is an important skill for children’s future success, and studies show that children who read for enjoyment are more successful in school and life. Many parents work hard to encourage their children to read, but sometimes it can be a challenge.

Here are some suggestions to help make reading for your child enjoyable and a learning experience, too.

  • A great way to motivate children to read is by suggesting a book series. There are many series to consider, like: Clifford, the Big Red Dog, The Magic School Bus and The Chronicles of Narnia. Many series books are included in the Kumon Recommended Reading List. Once a child’s interest is discovered in a certain series, another similar book series or author can usually be found.
  • Start a Family Book Club. Bring friends and family together with children of the similar reading ability and common interests, and read a book together.  It’s a good way for children to practice expressing ideas in a group setting. A book club also teaches children to listen and respect different points of views.
  • Reading programs at the local library are a great way to get kids to read. There are also a variety of reading programs in the form of contests, sweepstakes or giveaway such as Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and Barnes & Noble Summer Reading.
  • Encourage all forms of reading. It’s not so important what children read as long as they read daily. Even reading the instructions for a game or assembly directions for a model airplane is still reading.
  • Think about the interests your children have in the way of activities and hobbies, and have reading materials about those subjects available. Children are more willing to read if they can select something that interests them, than if they have to read something that has been assigned to them.
  • Keep newspapers and magazines in reach of your children. Read news events like sports, entertainment and local happenings, and discuss them with your children. Your child will begin to recognize the fact that reading is a part of everyday life that provides useful and interesting information.
  • Children may be more interested in magazines that are published for younger audiences. There are many to choose from. Check out these links for children’s magazines and teens magazines.
  • Visit your local library. Show your children how to search for a book of their choice. Teach your children how to ask the librarian for assistance in finding a book or suggestions for new books.
  • Lead by example. Let your children see you reading and they will recognize that reading is important to you, too.
  • Read together and discuss. Read the books your children are reading. This demonstrates to your children that what they’re reading is important to you. It offers a chance to talk about the book, and can improve the lines of communication between parent and child.
  • Read aloud to your children, even if they can read independently. It is important for adults to read to children and model what fluent readers do. Show children how you pause for punctuation and change your voice to accentuate the meaning of a text. Fluency bridges word recognition and comprehension. It allows students time to focus on what the text is saying and concentrate on comprehension. Non-fluent readers spend more time decoding and often have to read the same passage over several times to attain comprehension.
  • Always have some reading material with you when you are running errands or traveling. Reading can help ease boredom for your children when waiting in traffic or at the doctor’s office.
  • Expand on your children’s reading experiences. If they read about dinosaurs, visit a local museum. If they see a movie based on a book, suggest they read the book and compare the two.
  • Play word games with your children like Scrabble, word search, word scramble and crossword puzzles to strengthen reading comprehension skills.

Children are motivated to read when they find the reading experience to be pleasurable. If your children’s reading experience is interesting, your children will have fun while learning. Your children learn about a lot of things from you, and if you want your children to be motivated about reading, you will need to be, too.

What are your favorite tips to motivate your child to read? Share your ideas with Kumon.