Having a good home library is my next tip for raising a reader. It is important to have a wide variety of good books: picture books, chapter books, nonfiction and fiction. A wide variety of topics is also a good idea. You also want to make sure you have books that are at the correct level for your child. If the books are too easy then the child will not be challenged and will easily bore. If the books are too difficult then the child will be more likely to be frustrated and not enjoy reading. If money is an issue then the county library is a great resource. At my house we usually visit the library either every week or every other week. Thrift stores can also be a great place to find books.
Today’s tip is one of my favorites!!! Why? Because I get to do what I love and not feel guilty!
Be A Good Example!!!!
Yep, that’s it! Be a good example and read, read, read. Read all sorts of different genres, and if you can, let your children see you reading, and let them see that you enjoy it. Children mimic their parents’ attitudes towards many things, and reading is one of them. If you have a good attitude about reading then they most likely will too.
A good idea is also to talk to your kids about what you read. If it’s a history book then you can
talk to them about it. Talk to them about that time in history and if you remember it or not. Maybe their grandparents lived through that time, maybe you did. This gives them an opportunity to get to know the person and the events. I know my kids are always asking about the books I’m reading. I try to summarize the plot and discuss a few of the characters, because it teaches them those skills. And it teaches them to pay attention to those things when they read.
If your children are old enough to read the book you are reading, and it’s appropriate for them, then recommend it to them. Have them read it after you do, and discuss it together. I love doing this with my kids. We’ve had some very good discussions.
Here is a list of books that I have read and then recommended to my boys that they’ve enjoyed:
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Ancient Egypt: Everyday Life in the Land of the Nile by Bob Brier and Hoyt Hobbs
( My sixth grader did read this book and did enjoy it. There was just one page I didn’t let him read that was about naked women or something.)
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
These are just a few of them, but we’ve had some very good discussions and some fun times together discussing these books. It’s like your own mini book group in your own house. So fun!!
(And now you can do it guilt free, knowing it’s good for the kids!!)
Raising A Reader
A funny thing about kids (and adults too), we are visual, and we do judge books by their covers. Think of a grocery store. How is the cereal stocked on the shelves? The front “covers” face you, the boxes aren’t stocked sideways. Why is that? It’s because the bright colors, cartoon mascots, titles, and pictures stand out and make you want to buy them. Books should be stored that same way. Children are more likely to pick up a book if they can see the picture on the front than they are if they just look at the title on the spine (the way libraries stock the books). I just bought some black plastic crates and store my books in those. When I was teaching I saw rooms that had raingutters screwed into the walls and books stored in them. Pinterest has some fun ideas to make your own. Here are a few ideas:
Have fun and be creative! But most importantly, have books available for your children. The more the better!