Developing good reading habits in children is a pivotal step in their learning journey and is something that parents can easily foster and cultivate at home. Learning to read isn’t the only piece of this puzzle, children must also develop quality reading habits in order to maintain their understanding and continue to expand their reading capabilities. For that reason, we have put together 6 tips on how to establish good quality reading habits at home. These can be applied to infants all the way to teenagers, it’s never too late for good reading habits!
1. Make reading a part of their routine
Make reading an everyday occurance. If it’s a habit within your child’s everyday schedule then it will become ingrained in their lives and they will develop their reading skills simply by nature of repetition. The more they read, the more they will learn to read. At younger ages, this will be you and your child reading together every night, day, afternoon or whatever works for your family. For older ages, this will be facilitating a reading time for your child for them to enjoy their favourite book on their own.
2. Follow the Leader
Children take after their parents. If you make reading a priority in your life then it will be normalized to them. This will also stop them from thinking that you’re ‘forcing’ them to read or that it is some kind of punishment. Showing them that you enjoy reading and how rewarding it is to you will make it easier for them to do it themselves.
3. Create a space specifically for reading
To help facilitate the reading habit, create a space in your home that is specifically for reading. Whether it’s a specific chair, room or corner, having a space that a child associates with reading will encourage them not to drift off and do something else. Ensure this space is comfortable and well lit and when they are reading in that space, try not to interrupt or have them shift focus to something else.
4. Let them choose the books to read
At any age, let your child pick the book they want to read. For infants and toddlers, lay out a few different books in front of them and let them pick. For older children, let them loose and allow them to independently choose a book. If a child chooses their own book, they are significantly more likely to follow through on reading it. This will foster independence and give children a sense of control that they often crave.
5. Read with them
Lastly, read with your children. This is implied in other tips but I wanted to emphasize the importance. Reading with your child at a young age is something we wrote an entire blog about and you can check it out here. As your children get older, having that specific habit of reading every night in a specific spot, is something that we highly recommend you join in on if you are able to make it work with your schedule. You could also read the same book as your child so that you are able to discuss the characters and topics!
There is no minimum or maximum age that it is appropriate to start developing good reading habits. Making reading a part of your life in any capacity will greatly benefit your child’s development and will create a habit that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. If you use any of these tips, let us know on our social media pages!