Develop a Love for Reading in Your Children
Great leaders, thinkers, and innovators throughout history have generally been great readers. Readers can teach themselves – learn from people past and present. Reading is also a rewarding lifelong hobby and pleasant recreation. Help children learn to love reading instead of thinking it is just a subject in school.
Be sure children see adults reading for pleasure and for information. Pick up a book instead of a phone or tablet computer. Visit a bookstore or library and browse the shelves. Answer a child’s question by pulling a book from your home library and looking up the information. Books should be a natural part of your daily life.
A home library can be built without great expense. Used bookstores, online shopping, and holiday or birthday gifts can create a good collection of books. Be sure to include both fiction and nonfiction. Publishers such as Usborne Books have wonderful materials on science and history. Include a children’s atlas and a dictionary as well.
For pleasure reading, consider comic books as well as chapter books. They come in amazing variety. There is even a comic book series, beautifully illustrated, with The Bible as the text. Manga is another genre older children and teens enjoy. There are manga versions of classics such as Pride and Prejudice.
Reading can be so easily crowded out by school work, sports, social activities, and screen time. Be sure there is unstructured time for the family to quietly enjoy some books. Reading aloud at mealtime is one strategy that has the bonus of giving the family a shared book for discussion. An extroverted child might enjoy hosting a book club for some friends where they meet weekly to discuss a book they are all reading.
These ideas are just a starting point. Ask a neighborhood librarian for more ideas – or ask your children what they would like to know more about and use books to achieve that goal. Above all, have fun!