Getting kids to read is not always easy! But studies show that children who develop a love of reading will be more likely to to be successful lifelong readers and learners. Independent reading seems to lead to the success of lifelong readers, but getting kids to read independently takes time.
Although some children are born readers, for other children, It’s not that easy! Getting some children to read and to love reading takes time and patience! Finding the right book takes time, but it can be done!!
At first, you may not be happy about your child’s reading choices, you may cringe at their picks, but hold your tongue because those awful choices may just stir up the eventually, they’ll find the “right book” which will get your child to read and to love reading! And for the child who already loves to read, these ideas to get kids reading will deepen the love your child already has!
To get kids to read independently seems easy to do, but for some children, it’s a struggle. There are several reasons why a child may not like to read, from just not finding the right book to lacking the reading skills to be a successful reader.
To get kids to read when they don’t like to read is a real problem, but there’s always help available to analyze each child’s learning. Getting kids to read may take time, but it is possible!!!
The General Steps to Teach a Child to Read
I have been asked numerous times, “How do I get my child to read and to love reading.” There are many parts of reading instruction and there are several resources to guide you through the various elements of reading instruction. Your child’s teacher should be able to guide you to the areas of concern. Two main parts of reading are decoding and comprehension. Another part of the reading instruction is remembering and analyzing the story. And of course, you have to find the right book to get a child interested in reading!
These are just some of the steps your child’s teacher will take starting in kindergarten to ensure your child’s success in reading.
Oral Language – a child’s understanding of the structure of language.
Phonemic Awareness – a child being able to hear the sounds in words.
Letter recognition/Identification – when a child sees a letter, he/she should be able to recognize the letter and be able to identify it.
Letter/Sound Correspondence– a child needs to know each letter and the sound that goes with that letter.
Sight Words – these are words that each child should practice so that they will know them immediately when they see them in their reading assignments.
Vocabulary – a child should know the meaning of multiple words.
Comprehension – a child will also need to put the words and meanings together to be able to understand what he/she is reading.
How to Select a Book: The five finger rule used to pick a “just-right” book:
Read the first page of the book and put a finger up for every word you don’t know.
- If you have 0 or 1 fingers up after reading the page, it’s too easy.
- If you have 2 or 3 fingers up after reading the page, it’s just right.
- If you have 4 fingers up after reading the page, it’s very challenging.
- If you have 5 or more fingers up after reading the page, it’s too hard.
There are also many games and other aids to help your child read. Your child’s teacher is your best resource and your child’s school may be able to help you with the materials needed to assist in your child’s reading progress. Reading Rockets is just one of the many websites that can suggest activities and resources for getting kids to read. There is an abundance of resources available to you!
And for the child who hasn’t entered kindergarten yet, it’s so important to get them ready for kindergarten and the experience of attending school and making sure that they are ready to read.
The summer before they start their adventure into elementary school, there are a variety of ways to touch upon what is needed without them even realizing that you are preparing them for success!
There are tons of easy and fun ways to get them prepared for kindergarten in each of the cognitive, physical, language and social/emotional developmental stages.
Purchase or make a “reading” tent in your home!
Wear special fake glasses while you read!
Copy the words to a song and sing it!
Use a flashlight to focus on words as they’re being read!
Use a magnifying glass to focus on words as they’re being read!
Have a turn off the tv and read night, game night, movie night, etc.
Make a bookmark or other craft to promote reading.
Mix it up sometimes when you’re reading with your child:
Read the pages at the same time. You read one page and your child reads the next.
Find a new spot in the house or outside to read.
Have your child read to your pet.
Have your child read to a stuffed animal.
Have your child read to a family member or friend.
Make a craft connected to the story they are reading.
More Ways to Get Your Child to Read
Read Different Books:
Read Using Different Types of Devices
1. Visit your Public Library. Have your child explore different genres or types of books. Many times libraries have storytime for your child to attend!
2. Also, visit a Book Store and have your child explore. Many times bookstores also have story hours for your child to attend.
3. Be a Role Model for your child. Have them see you enjoy reading.
4. Read every single day with your child!
I have categorized reluctant readers into 10 different types, from the ones who struggle to read because they lack the proper reading skills to the type who thinks it’s not “cool” to read. Below are only two of the many suggestions in my post of reluctant readers – it has book suggestions, book trailers, ebooks, videos, etc. from my post on Reluctant Readers, click here for the full post:
Some struggling readers have a hard time keeping up with the rules of our language. This post goes over many strategies that can help your child remember what they need to do to get ready for school, the rules of the English language, tricky vocabulary, math facts, etc.
Big Print Books
Because the big print books have bigger fonts, a reluctant reader enjoys reading them more than the smaller print books. These books also appear to be larger because there are more pages and it makes some kids feel prouder because their book appears to be larger. I know that seems strange!!! Here are a few big print books for some popular books:
1.Drop everything and read – The whole family or just you and your child drop everything and read a book, magazine, tech device, recipe, cereal box, etc. Your child is probably not reading yet, but older siblings can read to their sibling, you can read to your child, or just pile a bunch of reading material your child! Ask questions about what is being read, and have your child respond. Make it exciting – add hot chocolate, etc.
2. Read in the Dark night – Turn out the lights and use flashlights to read, discuss the letters in the words, the words, the story, etc.
3. Get in a tent and read! – Have fun! (the best part about his is that you can either make this a family event or have your child sit solo in the tent and read). You can either buy or make a tent by throwing a blanket over a table. Some of my school’s classrooms have a little tent in them and the kids LOVE to sit and read in them!!!
4. Hide the alphabet letters – Hide all around in the living room (or a few in one spot so it doesn’t take that long), have them collect them and put them in order! Extra: have your child say the letter and sound.
5. Reading Rally – Compete on who can read for the longest time by not moving out of place. You can compete with your child, have your child compete with a sibling, friend, etc.
My Reading Challenge
A child needs choice in their reading selection and a choice of when or where to read. We’re always looking for ideas to get a child to read more and with all the distractions of video games, the internet, and phones, your child loses sight of the fact that reading is essential!!! I created this challenge to motivate your child (and even the most reluctant reader) to read more and it is my hope that it works! You can create incentives to go along with this list, make it a competition, etc. This challenge has two columns – What to Read and Who/What to Read to and a Reading place.
Every child is different so you know better than I what would work to motivate your child to read more. I’ve noticed at school, a child seems to prefer quick incentives as they lose their enthusiasm quickly! If you’d like a different reading list, just send me a message. For more ideas on how to use this challenge, click here. Also, if you’d like the Google Document of the reading challenge list, please either leave me a comment below with your email address or email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are the two best books for helping you to help your child read:
The Reading Lesson is a program that teaches young children to read in 20 easy lessons. It is designed as a step-by-step course for parents who want to teach their young children to read at home. The teaching method is based on phonics and key-word recognition, and with its innovative and guided approach, the 20 step-by-step lessons provide an easy-to-follow recipe for teaching children to read.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a best selling reading program available to schools across the country. This program has been adapted for parent and child to use at home. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a complete, step-by-step program that shows parents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read. Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days, your child will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level.
These are just some of the various topics on this website/blog, reading practice ideas, favorite books for reluctant readers, etc:
- How to Help Your Child Get Ready to Read!
- Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information
- 25 Ideas for Reading Skills Practice at Home!
- How to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home
- Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information
- 10 Tips to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
- Qualities of a Good Preschool
- Kindergarten Readiness Ideas From an Expert
- Super Fun Ideas For Reading Practice
- Is Your Child a Struggling Reader?
- Help Your Child Get Ready For Kindergarten
- Books for Boys Who Hate to Read and Tips to Get Them Reading Today!
- How to Help Your Child Get Ready to Read!
Getting kids to read and to love reading is not a simple task, and it takes a different amount of time for each child. You could have one child who loves to read and the other who’d rather do anything else but read – just give it time – be patient as there are lots of resources available to you.
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or question below or email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.