Whether you have a reluctant reader or an enthusiastic beginning reader, encouraging a love of independent reading will set them up for success. There are some easy things to get kids excited about reading. Check out our list of favorite tips!
How to encourage independent reading
1. Read aloud to your children every day, even when they are very little, and even when they can read by themselves, and even when they are big.
2. Surround them with books. Put equal amounts of books and toys on accessible shelves.
3. Once kids can read independently, have them read aloud to you or to the baby or to the cat or to the dog . . . Keep it fun!
4. Find picture books that feature subjects your child is passionate about: fire trucks, construction, animals, ballet, favorite characters, holidays . . .
5. If your child discovers a favorite author, collect more books by the same. Some of our favorite picture book authors are Mo Willems, Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, David Weisner, and Leo Lionni.
6. Choose books of varying difficulty. Alternate a challenging book with an easy one. Read chapter books, picture books, non-fiction books.
7. Offer alternate versions, such as graphic novels and condensed re-tellings as a way to introduce an author or a classic, then revisit it later on in its full version.
8. Encourage kids to read for pleasure and not always just “for school.” (Even if it’s the Lego catalog!)
9. Listen to audio books in the car.
10. Visit the library. Get kids their own library cards, give them time to browse, and let them bring home a new stack of books each time.