How to Make Reading Enjoyable - again!
There are many children who aren’t terribly interested in reading. It makes sense, given that there are so many modern distractions vying for their attention. But a love of reading can benefit them academically and even socially and emotionally – reading literary fiction has been found to make people more empathetic. How can you make reading more enjoyable for a child who would rather subsist on broccoli for a week than sit down with a book for half an hour? You’ll be happy to hear that there are plenty of creative ways to coax out their inner bookworm.
Let them choose what they want to read
Children may or may not be interested in everything they’re required to read for school, so let them choose what they want to read when they’re at home. Take them to the library and let them peruse as many books as they’d like until they alight on a genre or author that piques their interest.
Take them to unique bookshops
Instead of going to a “big name” bookstore, do a little digging and see if there are any interesting or quirky bookshops within driving distance of you. Let them explore the aisles and pick out a book or two to take home as a souvenir. Going somewhere unique can be a fun way to encourage children who don’t like to read to explore more books.
Find fun places to read
Get out of the house and look for places that correspond with the theme of what your child is reading. For example, if he or she is reading a book about dinosaurs, you could take a trip to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, check out the skeletons, and then sit down with the book at the museum restaurant.
Read what they’re reading
Take an interest in what your children are reading and read the books they’re interested in. It will likely be a quick and easy read for you and you’ll be able to ask them questions, and they’ll enjoy having someone to discuss the book with.
Let them join a book club
There are book clubs for children of all ages and they can be a good way to increase their enthusiasm for reading. They’ll have something to look forward to each month and will enjoy the anticipation of waiting to find out what book will come next.
Make reading a reward
Bend the rules a little bit and let them stay up past their bedtime reading. Give them a fun book nightlight or headlamp so they can read in the dark under the covers to make it extra fun.
Look for books they’ll relate to
If your child is going to summer camp, look for books about kids at summer camp. If you’ve just gotten a new pet dog, look for books about the adventures of children and their dogs. They’ll enjoy reading more if they can relate to the characters they’re reading about.
Play “book critic”
Having children play “book critic” and writing up their reviews as if they were writing for a newspaper or magazine can be a fun alternative to traditional book reports. Tell them to include what they did and didn’t like about the book and whether they would recommend it.
Plan field trips related to their books
Keep tabs on local museums and see if there are any exhibits that relate to what your child is reading. Go to the theater to see a stage adaptation of a book or the movies to see the film adaptation of a recent book. Breathing life into their books will help children get more enjoyment out of reading.
Don’t give short shrift to audiobooks
Helping children enjoy reading sometimes requires thinking outside of the box. Though they won’t actually be reading, allowing children who are averse to reading to listen to audiobooks can encourage them to explore “handheld” books. They can also listen to them as they fall asleep at night to keep their little minds interested in the literary world.
The power of reading
Reading is the foundation of a child’s education and children who are avid readers tend to perform better academically. Students at Stamford American International School are encouraged to read both for their classes to prepare for the International Baccalaureate as well as for for their own enjoyment. Stamford’s three libraries have a variety of material available for students to read. Elementary students visit the library weekly for library lessons and book exchange. Middle and High school students visit the library regularly with their subject teachers. To encourage home language reading, we continually work to expand our World Language collection. We also have a large eBook and audio book collection that students have instant access to from the library catalog. Plus, we subscribe to five eBook databases: Tumblebook Library, Tumblebook Cloud, Big Universe, Gale Virtual Library and BookFlix.
When they’re at home, we hope you’ll continue to encourage them by finding ways to make reading fun.
If you are keen on visiting or learning more about Stamford American, please do contact us.