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8 Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Reading

Does your child seem to hate reading? It’s not an uncommon problem, and when storytime is a constant struggle, you may be tempted to throw in the towel on reading. Don’t give up even if you and your child are struggling to get through just a few minutes of reading every day.

Teach your child to love reading with these 8 tips.

1. Don’t turn storytime into a quiz. While you should point out interesting things in the pictures or the plot to get your child involved in the story, avoid constantly quizzing your child for answers. Read for enjoyment rather than focusing on a particular skill.

2. Turn the screens off. When the television, iPad or smartphone beckons in the background, it’s hard to stay focused on a story. Turn the devices off to help your child avoid the tempting beckoning of the screen.

3. Read stories at a comfortable level for your child, especially if your child is reading to you. If you’re unsure of your child’s ability, ask his or her teacher for age-appropriate (and level-appropriate) book recommendations.

4. Practice patience. Don’t get frustrated when your child fails to recognize a word that you’ve recently reviewed. Also, be patient with little ones who can’t focus for long periods. Even 3-5 minutes of reading several times throughout the day is good for bonding and for building vocabulary.

5. Read books that interest your child. If your daughter is more interested in dinosaurs than princesses, read about dinosaurs! As a little girl, I disliked stories about princesses, fairies and romance, but I loved a good mystery.

6. Offer choices. If you’re dead set on reading books on a particular theme (such as for a holiday, about manners, etc.), let your child choose from 2-3 different books. He’ll be more likely to listen when he thinks it’s a choice.

7. Don’t discourage books that aren’t your style. So what if your kid likes comic books better than the classics–at least he’s reading! Be supportive of the genre your child prefers, as long as it’s age appropriate.

8. Read for enjoyment yourself. Your child is unlikely to love reading if she never sees you pick up a book. Curl up with a book yourself now and then to model good behavior. Have family reading time a few nights each week. When you demonstrate a love for reading, your child will learn to enjoy it, too.

How do you encourage a love for reading in your home?

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