I have a disclaimer: I LOVE to read. (I belong to 3 book clubs) I would read a book a day if I didn’t have 3 kids to feed and play with. So it is HUGE for me to have my boys LOVE to read too. Not to mention it is QUIET while they read, which is a nice bonus.
- Love the Library: There is nothing better then the public library. Free books, lots of variety. If you have little kids and you can put books on hold, that is a great service. I do this and then we can go browse for books, but if Thing 3 gets a little rowdy, we just head to the front to check out our books and the ones I put on hold are up there waiting for me! We go to the library once a week during the summer. A great tradition to encourage summer reading!
- Get Great Recommendations: There is nothing more inspiring then a GREAT book. If you give a kid a lame book, there is no way they will be excited to read it. I love Chinaberry to find the books my boys love. Friends and book blogs are great too.
- Read together: There is nothing better to inspire reading then reading together. That can be something as simple as setting a reading time and everyone sits reading quietly for 30 minutes, Mom too! But having a set read aloud time seems to work best for our family. The big boys (ages 12 and 9) like this as much as the little one (age 4).
I have been doing these things for the last 12 years and here is how it has turned out so far.
- Thing 1 (age 12) will read anything and he LOVES to read. He will read a 300 page novel in a day. This has not been an easy process. He has dyslexia and couldn’t read independently until he was 8. We did cognitive therapy (Learning RX) and TONS of reading aloud. I think the key for love of reading for Thing 1 was the reading aloud and books on tape, that is what preserved that love over years of struggling to learn to read and it has paid off.
- Thing 2 (age 9) is pickier, he reads slow and steady, but really needs to like a book to keep reading and finish it. Interesting to know that he learned to read very easily. I sometimes find it hard to inspire him to start reading a book. One day I had a GREAT book, but he didn’t want to read it, so I said, “Let me read the first chapter to you.” He agreed, so I did and it got him interested, he grabbed it and went to continue reading it. (you may notice this read aloud aspect coming up a lot)
- Thing 3 (age 4) is in that pre-reading stage and I love this stage. He is easy to please, happy to spend time sitting next to mom and listen to me read him books. It is also great because he has big brothers who will read to him too. He has fun going to the library and picking out books for me to read to him.
My advice to new moms, Read Aloud starting at birth! There are awesome board books for babies. Here are some of my favorites.
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an “I Can Read!” book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”