Creating a reading culture with your children from their infancy is a great way to breed a reader and get them interested in reading. Exposing them to books will make them understand the importance books play in their learning and help develop not just their language skills but also literacy-wise.
Books will widen your children’s horizons through stories and topics they normally wouldn’t be exposed to in their daily mundane life—books like geography, nature, history, etcetera.
But what happens if your kids just can’t seem to develop an interest in reading at all?
There are numerous reasons why most children may find reading difficult, and these can leave parents confused sometimes.
But the truth is, most of these reasons are obvious, and they have solutions.
Recognizing the difference between kids with a reading or learning problem and emotional turned-off kids is usually the hardest task for any concerned parent.
If your kids come up with excuses like stomachache every time you suggest reading or don’t like going to school, they are most likely struggling with something emotionally.
But if they wish to read but are unable to get letters right, reversing letters ‘b ‘and ‘d’ even when they write might be an indication of a visual difficulty, especially when it persists through their first grade.
If you find that your children are naturally not interested in reading, don’t panic. There are different strategies to take to motivate them into reading.
Here are 12 tips for helping kids who aren’t interested in books to love reading.
Tips to Introduce Babies to Books
Get to reading
Grownups sometimes get carried away with real life that we forget even to pick up a book to read.
If the above statement resonates with you, it may be time to pick up the habit again if you want your kid to develop reading habits.
To raise a reader, be a reader! Make the time, especially when you are home. You may even read to your children even when they cannot read yet.
Catch them young
You may think you can slack with books until your kids are vertical, but that is incorrect. Newborns benefit even more from hearing you read stories.
New babies are not picky really. You can read anything to them as long as they can watch you read and speak these words to them.
You can keep their attention by mimicking sounds people, animals, or objects make.
Neighing or chirping are some of the sounds you can make if the book needs you to pass messages about horses and birds across. Singing is also a way to keep things fun.
Mind your audience
You don’t have to necessarily look for reactions from babies when you read to them. It may seem like your kids are not listening, but they absorb things like a sponge.
What babies learn mostly comes from observations and explorations.
Tips to Introduce Toddlers to Books
Expose your children to others reading
When you ask your toddlers to pick a book they’d like to read, and they start running around, it might be because your kids are not accustomed to seeing people who enjoy reading.
Even the ones who enjoy reading can quickly lose interest if there is no model in the home or its environment to emulate.
Make an effort to let your children see you reading at least 15 – 20 minutes every day, even if you are not a reader. When your kids see you reading, they will try to mimic you by trying to read themselves
It is up to you what you choose to read, be it the Bible or a magazine. The point is to show a child that reading is not restricted to their age group.
Sons are more likely to enjoy reading more if there is an older male model they adore reading in their presence. But, there is no cause for alarm if there isn’t any.
If you’re a mother to a boy, please share this information with your male partner. Sons should see their fathers reading; fathers are role models for boys growing up.
Seeing role models read is vital, especially because most young boys would rather be physically active than sit somewhere reading.
This act will show your boy that reading is vital, and it will make him have the interest to read.
Respect your children’s preferences
Expand your toddlers’ world. Sometimes children appear “fixated” on a book that you don’t approve of. Don’t eliminate their favorite books, but try to steer them toward other selections.
Most importantly, don’t be hesitant to introduce toddlers to subjects they are unfamiliar with.
A good children’s book can break down any topic into small bits and make it engaging. These topics could include anything from geology to art, history, and foreign culture.
Children may gravitate more to storylines that feature a character of their gender at a certain age. This is not true for toddlers. Take advantage of their young age to introduce them to a diverse cast of characters.
Decoding in children’s education is a way to translate words by sounding them out for easier processing and understanding.
Once your children know the sounds every letter makes, it becomes easier to put words together. When they are attempting to put short words together, have them sound the phonics of each letter together like b-a-t, which sounds like the letter’ bat.’
When kids start decoding words faster, they become more proficient at identifying the words they’ve worked on.
Studies show that it can take between the ages of 1-4 of exposure to words before a word can become long-term memory and can be automatically retrieved.
Decoding can be tedious, but there are no shortcuts to it, so be sure to make things livelier and more fun.
Incorporate books into your daily life
If you add book reading into your daily routine, you’ll provide your children the power to discover and learn from books.
Books can be introduced as part of an expected regimen to get your kids interested in reading. The same way your children get dressed in the morning or eat meals.
You could incorporate book reading at a consistent time each day: before a nap, after a bath, or before bedtime.
Create a cozy reading nook
Create a “book nook,” a special location in your residence where you and your children can all go to read together, to make the reading time much more memorable.
Creating this place with your children will give them a sense of ownership over the place and a sense of purpose.
A dedicated reading area can be all your children needs to relax and enjoy some time with a nice book!
Make reading an interactive activity
Reading by yourself, or your kids reading by themselves, is okay but reading together is even better. And it’s especially necessary for the early years of your children’s reading development.
Instead of just reading the entire text on the pages, communicate the pictures in the book to your kids as well.
You may also imitate the behaviors depicted in the book, such as a toddler splashing in the water, petting a puppy, or hugging a stuffed animal.
Use your body to model the activities, such as copying the movements with your fingers, or use your children’s toys to imitate the actions to get your kids interested in reading.
Tips for Getting a Preschooler/Grade-Schooler to Love Reading
Visit the library
Going to the library can be frequent but still be a special and memorable trip for your kid, and here’s how. For children not to lose interest in certain things, you have to make them think they are in charge. No overcrowding.
Let your kids choose books they fancy, and be certain to give them time to explore through the library. This is likely to provide them with plenty of opportunities to select new and varied topics.
Pay attention to the types of books they choose to know if they have a particular theme they are partial to—themes like princesses, cars, certain authors/illustrators, or earth.
Once you notice this, use this information to give them suggestions, but don’t insist on books they don’t want.
Giving your kids the power to choose their reading material builds independence and also fosters their interest in reading books they enjoy.
Asking questions while reading to your children is not only an excellent way to encourage kids to participate in the book, but it’s also a great way to help them develop their capacity to think critically and to comprehend what they are reading.
Check to see if the reading material is appropriate for your children’s reading level. Your children’s interest may be piqued, but if the book is difficult to read, their enthusiasm will dwindle.
After your children finish a book, discuss it with them and ask what their favorite part was. This will help your kids improve their comprehension abilities while also making reading a fun family activity.
Ask them questions like, “Do you see the dog?” while pointing to the dog’s image. This will not only develop their vocabulary but will also encourage them to interact with the current book they are reading.
Show your children the cover of the book and ask them what they think the story is going to be about.
Set aside a regular read-aloud time with your children
Choose a range of high-quality books that are age and interest appropriate for your children. Another fantastic alternative for a hesitant reader is audiobooks.
Furthermore, don’t stop reading aloud to your kids as they get older—no one is too advanced for a good read-out.
Encourage your reluctant reader to read simple illustrative books to younger siblings. This is a great way to get them to practice without it feeling like a chore.
In conclusion, not only do good reading skills benefit students academically, but they are also a skill required for lifelong success.
Reading enhances overall vocabulary, improves attention span, and helps to think more critically.
If your children are having difficulty reading and become discouraged, take a step back and assess where they might be having difficulty.
Talk with their teachers/counselors and address the issue as soon as possible.
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash