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How To Encourage Your Child to Read


How can you encourage your child, whether a beginning reader or a reluctant reader, to read children's books on a regular basis? Here are some ideas that may help.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Ongoing

Here's How:

  1. Make a habit of reading to your child every day, whether she is a one-year-old or a 10-year-old.
  2. When your child is able to, have her read to you. You can take turns reading chapters in a simple chapter book, for example.
  3. Get a library card for your child. Go to the library every week and take out several books.
  4. Be aware of your child's interests and direct your child to related books.
  5. Try to find a series that she really likes and will want to continue reading.
  6. Provide a comfortable reading area, with good lighting, in your home.
  7. Discuss books with your child.
  8. Buy books for your child that are related to her special interests.
  9. If your child is a reluctant reader and not reading on grade level, buy her hi/lo books (books with a high interest level, low vocabulary).
  10. Talk to your child's teacher and ask for suggestions.
  11. If your child likes incentives and the computer, enroll in an online book group.
  12. If your child really enjoys a particular author, check with your librarian about other authors or books she might enjoy.
  13. Children also often enjoy the opportunity to read children's magazines.


  1. Stay on the side of encouraging rather than nagging if you want your child to read. Nothing puts a child off faster than feeling forced to do something, so be careful.
  2. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading to your child daily. Make it a priority.
  3. Be consistent with reading aloud, trips to the library and other encouragement.
  4. If your child is in middle school, read Middle School, Reading and Tweens: Motivate Your Preteen to Read by Jennifer O'Donnell, the About.com Tweens Guide..

What You Need:

  • children's books
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