I have always been a bookworm. Books have played an important role in my life and from the moment I became a mom, my hope was to raise kids with a similar appreciation.
I know their love of reading will look different than mine, but my hope has always been that my kids would enjoy the simple pleasure of getting lost in a good book.
If you have a similar goal, I’m excited to share a few ideas. The ideas are simple. You probably already do several of them intuitively. They are also easy to implement, BUT they do take time and intentionality. In other words, they involve a little work. If you are up for the challenge, below are five simple ways to encourage a culture of reading in your home.
Make Books Accessible. If you don’t have books lying around your home, your kids won’t have anything to read. Keep baskets of books in every room, especially in your kids’ bedroom. Bring books home from the library and switch them out often. Give books as gifts so your kids can start their own collections. Your local library is an amazing resource. Take advantage of it and visit often.
Read Books to your kids. Read to them when they are too little to understand and read to them when they are old. You do not outgrow being read to. Make reading stories together a bedtime ritual. Listen to audiobooks together on road trips. Turn holiday stories into traditions and read them aloud every year. As your kids get older and the time between read aloud sessions grows further apart, don’t be discouraged or give up. Read when you can.
Let your kids catch you reading. More is caught than taught, is a popular saying because its true. If your kids see reading is a big part of your life, they will intuitively understand that reading is important. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break to read in the afternoon or in the evening. Creating a culture of reading involves inviting your kids to read and it means taking time to enjoy the simple pleasure of stories on your own too.
Talk about books. Books make the best conversation starters. Ask your kids questions about the books they are reading. Find out what they like in the books they are reading and what they don’t like. Ask your teens and preteens for book recommendations, read what they suggest and talk about it. When you finish a story together, don’t just put it down, talk about it!
Finally, when your child finishes a book, encourage them to pick up another by asking, “What book are you going to read next?”
These simple actions have worked well in our home. What are some ways you encourage a culture of reading in yours?
For more tips, ideas and encouragement on reading with your kids from little on up, check out The Ultimate Reading Guide for Your Child courtesy of Mom Loves Best.