Happy reading at home

6 easy ways to grow a reader for life

Reading makes a huge difference.

“not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers” Harry.S.Truman

We aren’t all going to grow up to be leaders, but we know that successful people read regularly.  Our children broaden their minds through the books they read, and it’s just such a pleasurable thing to do – so it’s frustrating (I’m being polite) when your child will do anything but sit down and read a book. Some children are born bookworms, but most are grown into readers for life.

Try these six ways and to make your child a reader for life.

  1. You have to be seen reading, Mum, Dad, Nan; everyone has to be seen enjoying and reading a book regularly. Now I have struggled with this; it is tempting to use the 15 – 20 minutes of quiet to shove another load in the washing machine, get dinner on etc., etc. However, a mum who sits down and reads her book at the same time is making a powerful statement. Reading is important. Everyone is busy, but reading is a top priority, we all have things we think we need to do instead.
  2. Fill your bookshelves as much as you can, keep books, visit the library and buy books as a gift. If you give them a place as part of your home, books will become part of everyday life for your children.
  3. Talk about books in general conversations, make links between different books, between a book and a film and compare people you meet to book characters.
  4. Read to your children as much as you can: the shared experience brings you all closer together. You suddenly have a family ‘in’ joke and a better understanding of each other.
  5. Create reading routines that fit into your family’s lifestyle. Read in the morning if your child is too tired after school, read for 30 minutes before bath time, read in the kitchen after dinner…look at how your family works and plan how reading can best slot in.
  6. Keep a reading log over the year, not only does this give you an idea of what books to tempt your child with but, it develops a sense of achievement, and this can be celebrated. Children love looking back over their book list, reminding themselves of authors they have forgotten, books that have stayed with them and warm feelings towards reading. You can set a reading target for the next year, term or month to maintain momentum and keep your child reading for life.