Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Encourage Children To Read

Recently in a forum, I encountered a question about how I encouraged my children to read. I know of many mothers who try their best to instill the love of reading in their children. Unfortunately, they are not seeing the fruits of their labor. Their child show no interest at all despite their efforts. They wonder what else they can do?

Well, I just want to share what I replied in that forum. May some of you find comfort and hope in my answer. Just want to relay what I've learned through my experience with my kids.

Sometimes, our young kids don't show too much enthusiasm for reading. But we should not give up and continue to encourage the love for reading. My eldest daughter (now 11 years old), didn't really do much reading on her own when younger. I was always nagging her "hey, why don't you pick up a book" or "have you finished reading the library book yet?". And then one day, she just started devouring books like there's no tomorrow. She would borrow like 8 books from the library and finished reading them in 1 week.

Recently I could see she has moved on to the next level. She read The Twilight Saga , now reading for the 2nd time The Hunger Games Trilogy . The last trip to the library she borrowed books from the 1st floor fiction section instead of the kids section.

The same thing is happening to my son (now 9 years old). Would not pick up a book unless I said something. The 2 books he borrowed from the library would be returned 3 weeks later unfinished. Well, the last time we borrowed books, he finished them before returning. This week, he borrowed 3 books and 3 days later, finished reading them all. In case you are wondering, he loves to read Beast Quest. (If you have boys around that age, you can recommend that book to them.) You can see that his taste of books is vastly different from his sister's.

I guess what I'm saying is that we don't know when our kids will suddenly change. One day they don't like books, then suddenly the next day they can become a bookaholic.

For parents who want to know what they can do instill the love of reading in their kids, these are some things I did. AND do start when they are young, it helps.
  •     Created a mini library at home. Went to book sales a lot and stocked up my shelves with books.
  •     Borrow books from the library.
  •     Attend story telling sessions (if any)... whether at bookshops or playgroups.
  •     Read to them since babies.
  •     When we go out, I would bring books instead of toys to keep them entertained.
  •     Show that you, as a mother, also love to read books. My daughter was like competing with me as we read the Twilight and Hunger Books. She wanted to finish the book faster than me :) Now that she is borrowing more "teenager" kinds of books, I also read the books she borrow (We borrowed a series called Fingerprints by Melinda Metz and I enjoyed reading it too). She would sit next to me as I read. If I'm on the couch, she is on the couch with me. When I move to my bedroom to read, she follows me. I asked her "why are you following me everywhere?" She said, "I want to sit next to you and read." So, that's a clue right there. Children love it when you sit next to them and read together.
If your kids love to read, hope you don't mind sharing what kinds of books they like to read. Just leave a comment below.


  1. Thanks for the great tips!

  2. My 8YO++ girl also surprised me with her unquenchable thirst for books since last year. Now I am hoping for the same from my 2 younger girls.


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