Foster a Love of Reading & Improve Reading Comprehension in Children

Posted by Kami Mulzet on May 22, 2015 4:00:43 PM

Fostering a love of reading in your child is one of the most important and impactful things you can do. Reading is elemental to education, and the more children enjoy reading, and the better their reading comprehension, the more they are likely to engage in their education.  Read below to see how you can make this difference for your child.

  1. Keep a ready supply of books available at home.

    Being able to pull a book off of a shelf during down time is an important factor in encouraging children to read. Make sure that your child’s room has a bookcase, and that there is a nice range of books in it, including a variety of genres and levels of difficulty.

  2. Help your child make a book.

    This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Just fold some paper and have your child illustrate and/or write a story. He can read it to you later. This exercise does not even require the ability to write. Just have your child draw the story, and tell it to you.

  3. Read to your child every day.

    If you really want to foster a love of books, read to your child! Let me say that again, read to your child. One more time. Read to your child. Please. Summer is a great time for children to read to keep their skills strong.

  4. Content is king.

    If your child shows an interest in anything, find a book on the subject. Even a magazine will do. There are magazines about just about any subject. The most important thing is that you find something written that connects your child with her interests.

  5. Listen to books on tape.

    Encouraging your child to listen to a book on tape is an excellent way to foster a love of reading. If you drive your child to school, find a great book narrated by a professional actor and listen to it in the car on the way to and from school. Hearing an actor read a book opens up a whole world for children. The actors mimic character voices and model inflection and pacing. Your child will gain fluency just by listening to a book that is read well by a great narrator.

  6. Set the example by reading.

    Model respect for reading and for books. Show your child that reading is important through your own example. Your children should feel like a bookcase full of books that they’ve read is as special as a trophy case.

  7. Visit a local bookstore.

    If you are trying to figure out what to do on a Saturday night, make visiting a bookstore an event. If there is a cafe in the store, treat your child as part of the fun. If your library has a story-hour, allow your child to attend as a reward. Make bookstores and libraries special destinations.

  8. Build the suspense!

    Find a book with great cliffhangers between chapters, and read only a chapter a night. Yes, your child will beg for more, but the anticipation will be worth it. At the end of each chapter, ask your child to predict what will happen next.

  9. Give the gift of books.

    Give a book or two as a gift for birthdays and holidays. Make sure that you inscribe the front to show that it is a special book. Make sure, also, that it is a book that your child will enjoy. Some children enjoy nonfiction books, while others love fantasy. Make sure that you know the type of book your child enjoys most.

  10. Build reading comprehension.

    While reading together, pause to ask your child to imagine that they are interviewing a character. What questions would they ask? How do they think that character would respond to the question?

  11. Reading aloud to an audience.DSC_0028-1

    Encourage your child to read to a younger sibling, a family pet, or even a stuffed animal. Children love to read for an audience, and even an inanimate audience will do the trick.

  12. Based on a TV show or movie?

    Compare TV and Movies to the books that they are based on or similar to. (If your child loves a Disney movie that is based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, for instance, read the original tale.)

  13. Give your child an understanding of how stories are formed. Have them help to identify story elements like character development and overcoming obstacles.

  14. Don't forget - Read to your child!

    Finally, the best way to foster a love of reading in your child is recommendation #3. Read to your child, teen, or young adult.

    Learn about PreK-8th grade education at Montgomery School

Topics: Reading