Reading at home - tips and tricks

Encouraging children to read is crucial in developing their literacy and language skills, but it can be a challenge for parents and caregivers to motivate them. It’s important to cultivate a love for reading in children from a young age, so that they can develop their literacy and become lifelong lovers of reading. At Explore Learning, we share the top tips and benefits of reading at home.

How to encourage children to read at home?

Encouraging children to read at home and enjoy it doesn’t have to be tricky.

We know that reading at home is a great way to boost literacy levels at school. Lewis Cherry from our Education team shares his top tips on how to get children to enjoy reading at home:

  • Lead by example: Children often mirror the behaviour of their parents or caregivers, so make sure they see you reading at home often. This can be anything from a novel to a newspaper, as long as they see reading as an enjoyable activity.

  • Start early: Begin reading to your child when they are infants. Even if they don't understand the words, the act of reading and the sound of your voice can be an encouraging and comforting way to establish a positive association with reading.

  • Let them choose: Allow your child to choose the books they want to read. Whether it's a graphic novel or a non-fiction book about their favourite animal, let them explore their interests and choose books they are excited about. We have a great list of secondary and primary school reading list for children aged 4 to 14!

  • Make it a family activity: Set aside time for the whole family to read together, such as during breakfast or before bedtime. This creates a shared experience and reinforces the importance of reading as a family value.

  • Make it fun: Use different voices or make funny sound effects when reading at home can make the story more engaging. Encourage your child to act out scenes or draw pictures related to the story.

  • Celebrate milestones: When your child finishes a book or reads a certain number of chapters, celebrate their achievement. This reinforces the importance of reading and encourages them to continue.

  • Use incentives: Offer rewards or incentives for reading, such as a special treat or activity after finishing a certain number of books. This can be a fun way to motivate reluctant readers.

  • Create a reading nook: Designate a special area in your home as a reading nook, such as a cosy corner with comfortable pillows and blankets. This can make reading feel like a special and relaxing activity.

  • Embrace technology: While it's important to limit screen time, there are many benefits of screen time and technology can be a great tool for reading at home. Many e-readers and tablets offer interactive reading experiences or access to audiobooks, which can be a great way to engage young readers.

  • Make it a habit: Set aside a regular time each day for reading, such as before bedtime or after dinner. Making reading a regular part of your child's routine can help establish reading as a habit. A good routine can also contribute to self-care for children.

  • Join a book club: Look for local book clubs or online communities that are geared toward children. This can provide a sense of community and make reading a fun social activity.

  • Take turns reading: If your child is hesitant to read on their own, take turns reading pages or chapters together. This can help them feel more confident and engaged in the story.

  • Incorporate reading into other activities: Consider finding books or magazines related to your child's hobbies or interests, such as sports or animals. This can make reading feel like a natural part of their other activities.

  • Make it a game: Create reading challenges or scavenger hunts related to books, such as finding a book with a certain colour cover or reading a book set in a specific location.

  • Encourage self-progress tracking: Encourage your child to track their own reading progress and celebrate milestones, so they can really take pride in their achievements.

  • Encourage them to participate in book events like the World Book Day and visit local libraries. Libraries offer a wide range of books and materials, fostering a love for reading. Introducing children to reading events and libraries early instils an appreciation for literature, highlighting the numerous benefits of library resources.

The benefits of reading at home

Encouraging a culture of reading at home to for your children has numerous benefits. Here are some benefits that reading at home has to offer:

  • A Cosy Learning Environment: the environment that home offers can significantly enhance the reading experience by providing children with a sense of security and comfort, making it more likely for children to enjoy reading at home and elsewhere.

  • Distraction Free Focus: unlike the constant buzz of school or outdoors, home can be a sanctuary of concentration. At home, your child can dive deep into stories, building their ability to focus in a calm environment.

  • Family Bonds: reading at home together or discussing books can become a cherished part of your family’s routine, fostering communication and understanding.

  • Building confidence: the supportive environment of home reading sessions can boost your children’s confidence, as they feel more open to ask questions and share their interpretations.

How Explore Learning can support your children

With these tips you can help foster a love of reading that will benefit your child for years to come. Remember, reading at home should be a fun and enjoyable activity, so focus on creating a positive and engaging experience for your child.

There are many ways to encourage children to enjoy reading. By making reading fun, involving the whole family, and embracing technology, parents and caregivers can help establish a love for reading early on that will benefit children throughout their lives.

If you have tried all our tips above and your child is still reluctant or struggling to read, our expert tutors are always ready to help. Check out Explore Learning’s local tuition centres or explore our online tuition option and see how we can help!

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