Five Tips to Encourage Reading for Pleasure

posted in: Reading | 0

As a specialist reading teacher, success for me is when a child picks up a book to read for pleasure without any prompting. How can we assist our children reach this milestone so that once they can read they will pick up a book and read?

(Just remember that enjoying reading activities with your child will not teach them to read.)

  1. Set aside a designated time for reading.

  • In our busy worlds and the proliferation of screen-based activities, it is often difficult for our children to find time to read.
  • Set aside a time each day for reading. I would recommend that this be a part of your child’s bedtime routine and is non-negotiable.
  1. Whet your child’s interest.

  • If your child wants to read a book, you are on your way. Look at the title, the pictures and the blurb on the back with your child.
  • Read the first chapter to ‘hook’ your child into the story.
  • Make sure you read a part of the book to your child each night.
  • Choose books from a series because if the first book is enjoyed, other books in the series will be just as enjoyable.
  • See this short video: Reluctant Readers Link
  1. Don’t make it a lesson.

  • There is a time for teaching reading and a time for reading purely for enjoyment. Don’t make reading books a chore!
  • If your time for reading is at night, your child is likely to be tired, so just tell them words that they don’t know.
  • Don’t ask questions because this is testing and reading for pleasure should not be associated with assessment.
  1. Visit the library regularly.

  • Set aside a time each week or fortnight and go to the library as a family.
  • Let your child have the joy of selecting their own books, some of which they may not enjoy (and that’s okay).
  • Participate in library organised activities.
  • If you can’t/don’t have time to visit a library, make sure you have a large stock of different types of books in your house.
  1. Model reading for enjoyment.

  • Make sure your child sees you reading for enjoyment.
  • Discuss books that you are currently enjoying reading and books you enjoyed reading in the past including when you were a child.
  • Take a book with you (and one for your child) when you are going to be waiting (e.g., doctor’s surgery).
  • On cold, rainy days, curl-up together with a book in front of the heater and on fine, sunny days take a rug and books and read in the garden or a local park.