5 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Read

Here are a few ways to motivate your child to read.

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1. Have many books that interest your child available for them to read. Have you read a book that just didn’t interest you? Have you found yourself distracted while reading that text? I know I have! Children are not any different than adults; if something is boring to them they will not stick with it. You may need to start a checklist of books your child likes so you know what interests them. You might want them to keep track of what they read too, this helps them understand what they like. Don’t just stay with books. You can have your child read comics, magazines, online books, and journals, articles about movie stars and music stars, and poems. There are many reading materials to choose from.

2. The child needs to take ownership in what they read. Have your child choose their own reading materials. This is an important step because even if you know what your child likes, they will have a sense of worth when they pick it out. It is ok for them to choose a difficult book to read; however you might have to help them read it. If they pick out a book from the library and you know it is too hard for them, explain that it might have words in it that they cannot read but you would help them. They really like that because they know you will spend quality time with them. This works especially well when you have other children! This also helps their vocabulary skills because they are learning new and challenging words in that book.

3. Ask your child what they read when they finish reading it. This gets them excited about what they read. They will probably go on and on about it! Remember this also enhances reading comprehension! Many times younger children will not remember much of the story. Just remember if they knew the main characters and the major plot they are doing really well! However, use this time as a teachable moment with them and ask them questions about the story. As you ask more questions they will remember more of the story. This also works for older children and harder text also, but you need to pay close attention to the details your child is giving you.

4. Read to your child and use expression within the story. As they hear you read they will try to imitate you. This helps them read in phrases and expressions. It will help their reading comprehension and as a result of that they will love reading. Reading is enjoyable when a person can imagine themselves in the story. You may want to incorporate during story time with your child where your child reads part of the story with expression. These are short phrases within the story and you are the reader for the rest of the story. This works well with a story they know by heart.

5. Be an example, read as much as you can. It is important for children to see you read. They will want to do whatever you do. Have you ever heard “I don’t know why they want me to do that; I never see them doing it?” If your child sees you reading, chances are they will read on their own without being told to do so. Also, it is fun to talk with your child about what they are reading. You can also tell them what you are reading. They may not understand your book but they will be interested in what you are saying because you have something in common to talk about. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time in your day. Just set aside even 10 minutes a day for reading. It will not only help your child read more, but it will enhance your life as well!

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