I wrote a post about encouraging writing in my boys and wanted to followup with one about encouraging reading. I am an ferociously reader. I adore books and lap them up, no, that is not quite right I adore reading. I love words, their meanings, the way they make me feel, the places they take me too. So for me it was key that I introduced my boys to books very early on in their lives.
Make books available
We have books everywhere and we make sure that they are within their reach, We have them in the loo, in bedrooms, in the sitting room, we have a bookcase on the landing and one in the conservatory too. When the boys were smaller I made sure that books were in a box at their level and we rotated them. We were offered a free trial of Reading Chest and I have to say Mini loves it. He gets three books delivered and we can post them back when he has read them and we get three more in the post. It is superb if you are looking for books which are pitched at their ability and you do not have a library or in our case there is no reading scheme in Reception, which means Mini doesn’t get any books he can read, just ones that we can read to him.
Use your Library
It is common sense really, but the boys love visiting the library and picking out their own books, they have both had their own library cards since being tiny.
Let them buy books
Books need not be expensive, the boys love going through the children’s book section in charity shops and I make sure they have their own pennies for them to use. In fact Maxi’s favorite book at the moment is one he bought from the charity shop called how it works.
Don’t force it on them
I believe that is a child doesn’t want to read a book then they won’t and it doesn’t make for a happy family. If they don’t want to read, then why not read to them. MadDad and I read chapter books to the boys before bed ach night and I will make sure that if one of them comes and asks me to read, that I do and we can often be found curled up on the settee with a book or two. I also take books with us if we go out for a picnic.
Reading doesn’t always mean books
If like Maxi books are not you think then why not look at online books or stories to help your children. Since the boys were tiny I always pointed out letters and words on signs, in shops and when we are out and about. I used to leave signs round the house and also make treasure maps and leave clues in places for them. They love when they find a note in their sock draw.
Recipes are a great way of getting them to read, both my boys look cooking and baking, so I make sure we have the recipe wrote down and they read it too me. The boys love maps and atlas’s so that is another way, I tend to follow their lead and find things that excite them. We bought a book of local walks with maps for Maxi and he would direct and read them to us.
I mentioned using secret messages in my encouraging boys to write post and it goes the same for reading, we pretend to be spies. I am all for making learning fun.
Why not write a shopping list and get them to help with the shopping, matching the words on the list with the ones on the food.
Make use of online resources
Both of my boys love being online and I have to say that they really love Alphablocks. I do limit screen time, but enjoy sitting with them whilst they show me what they can do.
Mostly I would say, don’t worry about it, it will happen, if they see you enjoying reading and you make it accessible to them, it will come.