Benefits and Tips for Making Children WANT to Read

by Melissa Nelson
Literacy Coordinator, North Cobb Christian School

We all know that reading is the foundation of a successful education. Moreover, reading ability, like exercise, is improved through repetition. Helping your child learn to love reading is the key to academic success.

Sadly, in a recent survey, more than half of all students surveyed said they spent less than four minutes a day reading at home. (They also reported spending two hours a day playing video games or watching television.) Research shows that kids who spend as little as 30 minutes a day reading books, magazines and newspapers are more likely to become good readers and do better in school. Not surprisingly, 10 minutes of reading is greater than 2 hours of television!

Moreover, books make idle time productive. Diet experts recommend always having an interesting book that you want to read. They say that when we are reading, we have less idle time and are less likely to snack between meals! Like exercise, the more you read, the better you get. Period!

5 Secrets for Making Children Want to Read

1. Let your child stay up 30 extra minutes to read.

2. Routinely take a family trip to the local bookstore or library. Get to know your librarian or book clerk.

3. Have family reading night. Create a cozy atmosphere in your home and curl up with good books! Coffee, hot chocolate, cookies, and books are great companions!

4. Create bedroom libraries. Designate a book shelf or basket for books. Pull out “special books” throughout the year (birthday, seasonal, holiday). For example, in January my 4-year-old has a book basket filled with books on snow and snowmen. I also have special birthday books that come out once a year.

5. Get hooked on a series. Children who find an author or book series they love are more likely to stick to leisurely reading.

Source for survey: The Parent Institute

Melissa Nelson holds a bachelor’s in education from the University of Georgia. With 18 years of teaching experience, Melissa currently serves as the Literacy Coordinator for North Cobb Christian School, where she enjoys imparting a love of literature to students and teachers alike.



Filed under Motivation, Parenting, Reading

2 responses to “Benefits and Tips for Making Children WANT to Read

  1. ecossick

    These are great ideas, Melissa! I love the family reading night idea!!! :-)

  2. Sandra

    These are great ideas!!! It is also important for parents to know that if your child cannot read on their own, reading to them will help them want to become readers. If you can’t read to them all the time, find some picture books for them to look at that have attention catching art work. They will make up their own story using the pictures and this is just as great!!!