Let’s talk about bringing the joy back into reading…
for you and your child!
Are you ready to help your child enjoy reading which requires very little effort from you?
It all starts in the home…
And not at school which many parents may think.
Begin by transforming your home into a Reading Home.
Take a look at the “reading atmosphere” of your home using the following questions:
- How many reading materials do you see around your home?
- How are books presented in each room?
- Are books easily accessible to your child?
- What sort of reading materials are there?
- Where do you and your child read?
Then build the perfect environment for reading with the following steps:
Step 1: Put books everywhere, and I mean everywhere…
- Every bedroom – including yours.
- On your dining table.
- In the kitchen. Let your child explore your cookery books, read the ingredients on food items, pop a shopping list on your fridge etc.
- On every bookshelf – make sure books are accessible to your child.
- Even in a basket in the bathroom – yes children like to read on the toilet too, not just dad!
(True story: I once taught a reluctant reader who never picked up a book until he caught his dad reading a newspaper on the toilet and thought it was the best thing ever!)
Don’t limit it to just the house, what about?
- In the car / pram/ bike…you never know when a book may come in handy. I always take books to the beach, which has saved us from toddler meltdowns.
Step 2: Make time in your daily life.
Now you have books everywhere you can start setting daily reading routines.
You want to encourage more reading and help make it a natural habit.
Just don’t force it!!
One of the most popular and important routines is bedtime. It’s a great way to end the day, has the fewest interruptions and helps relax your child before bed.
But here are other perfect opportunities to read too.
- Reading in the bathroom, (this is great for when your toddler is in potty training stage).
- Reading at mealtimes. My 1-year-old takes about 45 minutes to eat while my 3-year-old will finish in half the time. To keep herself amused, she reads to her sister at the dining table. A great way to get some extra reading!
- Reading whilst out – off to the doctor’s or dentist? Take a book while in the waiting room. I always have a book stuffed in the car and pram for those times your child needs some entertainment. No electronics or phone needed!
Step 3: Find a quiet, relaxing place for your child to read.
Ideally, away from TV and electronics, so there are no distractions. That includes keeping your mobile away from the reading space.
I see lots of creative parents going crazy making reading tents with fairy lights, cushions scattered and painted murals etc.
You don’t need this, you simply need something quiet and cozy.
It can be as simple as laying on a cushion on the floor of the bedroom or under a blanket or on the sofa.
Step 4: Provide a selection of reading materials your child is interested in.
Look at the different reading materials you are providing. Do you have a wide selection or do they tend to be focused on one general area?
If your child doesn’t show interest in books, maybe they just haven’t found the right book or genre yet.
Follow your child’s interests, take them to the local library or bookshop and let them explore different genres and show you what interests them.
Don’t forget, magazines, graphic novels, non-fiction, comics and audiobooks.
I remember teaching a 6 year old who didn’t like reading at all, but always enjoyed telling jokes to make his friends laugh.
One day in the school library, he found… A Joke Book and that was it.
His reading journey took off that day and he read every day from then.
And yes, he did eventually expand his reading to include non-joke books.
By following these four steps, you can avoid making your child hate reading by forcing them to do it. Instead, you make it enjoyable for them and inspire them to read every day.
A habit that will last forever.
No more worrying that your child doesn’t like books.
No pressure to rush it, as you know it’s not going to happen overnight.
Instead, a clear plan of placing books into the child’s environment…
And watching your child’s curiosity and interest grow.
As I promise it will.
Founder of Phonics2Read
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