How To Teach A Child To Love Reading

Posted in Reading on November 13, 2016 - by

I watched an amazing video yesterday about teaching your children to read. It wasn't targeted towards homeschoolers, but it is applicable. Many homeschoolers have no trouble getting their children to read (some of us are even known for it). But other parents have a more difficult time getting their children to enjoy reading. Or to sit down with a book. Or even picking out a book.

So, here are my notes from watching this video. Please visit his website if you are interested in any of his materials!

Turn off TV and ALL technology

How often do you, as a parent, really model great reading behavior? Let yourself get caught reading (if you don't already). And newspapers and magazines count, but 'not really.' Lead by example and read books. Get caught reading an encyclopedia!

I suspect that lots of homeschoolers already do this well (and the next tip).

Have a great selection of books available

You may not know what he or she really likes to read. They may not have discovered it yet either. Start weeding out the books that they aren't interested in at the moment. There are so many reasons why they might not want to read something, but it doesn't mean they won't be interested at a later time. The point is, tell them to sift through the bookshelf and start building a pile of books they will like.

Note from Homeschool Base: We have an amazing list of free eBook resources for homeschoolers that use Kindles, Nooks, or other eReaders for books.

Make reading a priority as a family

As a family, retreat into a single space, together, and read. Bring some fun snacks and read with your child(ren). Each family will have something that works better. A different room, or a different routine.

What can you do to make it a family priority?

Pick your librarian's brain

Go to your local library! Pick the librarians brains! Librarians really do love it when people show up and ask about a subject, or a book, or a child. Librarians love exploring and discovering what books will fit your needs (or your child's needs). I've found that almost all the libraries I have ever met truly have a passion for books and helping others find a similar passion.

Not only will you make your librarians day, local libraries NEED you to borrow books. Borrow as many as you can! Why?Your library needs to have records that books are being checked out.

Make the reading experience a sensory experience

Don't let reading just be a 'sight' experience with imagination. Make the experience involve smells, comfort, ears, and all 5 of the senses. What does this mean? Here are some examples.

Lighting a candle!


When the candle is lit, don't speak unless its absolutely necessary. This helps instill a mindfulness to make sure that nothing is said aloud that is not absolutely necessary. This way, you don't need to keep saying shhh. No, the candle is lit. When the candle is lit, we do not talk. "The candle is lit, no speaking." The candle becomes the 'bad guy' telling kids to be quiet, not you.

Create a sensory environment with a room cleansing spray

sage-smudgeTry out spraying a room with a cleansing spray. Some of you love essential oils. This is a spray that includes essential oils. Different sprays with frankincense can really calm a room down. The point is to add a calming smell to accompany the desired mood. Something like this Sage Smudge Mist and Room Spray sold by Sale Contender and fulfilled by amazon.

Add some soft, classical music

Maybe put some quiet music on. No talking or singing, just good classical music. This can help quiet the mood down for reading. Have a really great comfortable chair and some water. This way the child can really curl up with a book and not need to get up for about an hour.

Homeschool Dad

About Mike Holiday

I like technology, teaching, programming, hiking, and strawberry jelly filled doughnuts. I'm a pretty passionate lifelong learner. I went to school for that "math stuff" everyone seems to hate!
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