Many children see reading as a chore or schoolwork. However, reading has several benefits for children and adults. Establishing good reading habits as children can lead to countless future advantages. Use this guide to create a space at home to help cultivate your child’s love of reading.
Why Reading Matters
Reading is a fundamental tool for children’s brain development. Your child can learn essential skills they will need to succeed in many areas later in life, from linguistic to social elements. Reading to your child from a young age can help prepare them for school — kindergarteners whose parents read them five books a day will enter their academic career knowing 1.4 million more words than their peers.
As children continue to work through school, reading with you and on their own can introduce them to new words, expanding their vocabulary and helping them develop critical communication skills. As they explore new books they can learn sentence structure and essential grammar rules to apply to writing and speaking. The rules they learn through reading help them understand how to communicate and allow them to excel in school and public speaking.
Reading can also help your child develop empathy skills. As children read about other people, both real and fictional, they can learn to value others’ points of view. The more diverse their reading, the more they can learn to respect people with different backgrounds, feelings, and beliefs.
4 Helpful Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
Encouraging reading at home can be easy and fun for both you and your child. Simple habits can help you create a safe space where your child feels comfortable exploring new books and subjects. Try these four tips on how to encourage reading at home.
1. Create a Dedicated Reading Space
Creating a designated reading space, like a reading nook or corner, is an excellent place to start encouraging more at-home reading. Fill the area with comfortable seating options, like beanbag chairs or floor cushions, and install a bookshelf where your child can easily access books on their own. Make sure the space is well-lit so that your child can read whenever they like without straining their eyes.
This space should also be somewhere quiet and peaceful where your child can focus on reading. Locate it somewhere away from social, common areas and recreational activities like the TV and games. Keeping the area separate can help minimize distractions and clarify that this is a space for reading while encouraging it.
2. Keep Your Bookshelf Full
As you develop your reading space, keep the bookshelves well-stocked with books your child will enjoy.
Note which genres your child likes best and add titles from that genre. Reading can also be an excellent opportunity to explore new things, so watch for opportunities to add new titles your child might enjoy reading. You can balance newer books that challenge their preferences with old favorites they’ll love returning to.
3. Take Family Trips to the Library
The library can be a great resource if you want to encourage reading with your child. Libraries are spaces where children can safely explore different books and new genres. They also often have comfortable reading areas where your child can read or meet other kids. Making library visits a weekly routine can help your child develop a positive relationship to reading.
Libraries often host events for children and families. Attending these events can encourage your child to bond more with reading and library spaces. Your library might have events like:
- Weekly picture book readings for younger kids, where volunteers dress in costumes or do fun voices.
- Monthly book clubs for older children beginning to read longer chapter books.
- Special teen activities based on popular Young Adult book series.
Explore what your library offers and find the perfect events and activities for your child.
4. Read to Each Other
While many kids enjoy reading independently, many also enjoy reading with a parent or other adult. Reading with your child is a great way to build developmental and social skills while fostering their love of books. When you read to your child before bed or at the library, encourage them to read along with you.
Reading out loud lets children develop their reading skills and encounter new words with another person present. Learning this way can help build your child’s confidence and public speaking skills. Try taking turns to give your child the chance to practice reading aloud without overwhelming them. When they reach a word they don’t know, encourage them to sound it out, and praise the effort they make to learn something new. Positive encouragement in a safe environment will encourage them to try new things and actively learn.
When reading aloud, consider choosing challenging books with tongue twisters or rhymes, like Dr. Seuss. Tongue twisters will challenge their speaking skills as they navigate challenging sentences. You can also integrate and practice critical thinking by asking your child to point out rhymes or other elements, like words that start with the same letters.
Make reading with each other a routine with a series or a book that will take multiple reading sessions to complete. Your child will look forward to reading with you, and you can create some wonderful memories with them.
Reading Helps to Build Your Child’s Future
Establishing good reading habits when your child is young can impact their future as well as their present. The benefits of reading, like reading comprehension and a growing vocabulary, can help your child with schoolwork, tests, and essays. Reading can also teach your child about grammar and sentence structure, which can help improve their writing skills.
Reading can also help your child beyond their academic career. Communication is one of the top skills employers look for in employees. Reading can help teach your child about language and how to communicate, setting them up for workplace success when they’re older.
In addition to your child’s academic and professional future, reading can help improve mental health. Reading lowers heart rate and blood pressure during times of stress, helping you feel calmer. Reading as children can help students find a love of recreational reading, which they can use later in life as a healthy coping mechanism.
Start Reading With CCA Today
Reading can help prepare your child for school and social situations by expanding their vocabulary and developing communication skills. It can be a lifelong passion, keeping your child’s brain active and developing critical thinking skills as they make inferences and connect books to real life.
Many schools encourage students to read and implement reading strategies for students. At Commonwealth Charter Academy, we offer highly personalized curricula, so your child can follow their interests and incorporate reading into their daily learning.
Request information from CCA today and discover how your child can learn with us.