Tips for motivating children to read

Good reading skills are important. But how do you get your child to pick up a book? Here are some ideas to help instill a love of reading.

• Encourage children to read aloud.

• Take field trips to the library.

• Keep books in the car.

• Encourage the reading of a series. When kids fall in love with a series, their next book is easy to find.

• Choose books with subject matter than connects with your kids' activities and interests.

• Encourage children to read books where they are comfortable – on the porch, by the lake, or up in a treehouse.

• Give books as gifts.

• Don't give your children a lights-out time at night in the summer. Let them read as long as they want to.

• Relax a little. Try not to overcommit your children to too many activities. Let them know that lying on the bed reading a book is not a waste of time.

• Show your children you value reading. Parents should spend time reading the daily paper or a paperback; or maybe open a geography book while the family is watching TV to learn about and discuss a far-off place.

• Let teens choose their own books and magazines.

• Don't criticize what teens read. Talk about what bothers you about certain materials after you've read them yourself.

Sources: Pollard Middle School bulletin, Needham, Mass., and Big Guy Books Inc.

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