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How to start a reading routine

Now that school is back is session, your kids will probably be reading more than they were in the summertime, but continuing to read books outside of school is important too.

Mom and dad reading with kids

Establishing a reading routine at home is great for your child’s vocabulary and comprehension, plus it can promote bonding with parents.

Step 1: Pick a monthly theme

If your children are of varying ages, pick a monthly theme and then each child (and each parent) should select books based on the theme. Head to the library where everyone in the family can find books suited to their reading level and interest.

Step 2: Create a reading area

Establish a reading area where the family can read together. Make it cozy and comfortable with plenty of soft seating and pillows, plus good lighting.

clockStep 3: Set a reading time

Set a time where your family will read together each day. For most families, the best time seems to be right after dinner. Find a time that will work for your family’s schedule.

Step 4: Read with enthusiasm

If you have young children that can’t read on their own yet, then the parents will need to read out loud. Read the books with great enthusiasm, getting into character with different voices. This will help capture your child’s interest and encourage a love of reading.

Step 5: Take turns reading

If your children are a bit older, take turns reading out loud. Each person can read a page or a paragraph, then pass around the book. This is a fantastic way to enjoy reading together as a family.

Step 6: Talk about what you’ve read

If you have teens at home, they may not want to read out loud together, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read together. Even sitting in the same room while parents and teens read their own books is important. After each reading session, talk about what you have each read.

Step 7: Reward your children for reading

Reading is so important for all children — no matter their ages — that you should give them small rewards when they complete books. Cool bookmarks and book bags are a terrific idea for younger children. Reward older children with gift cards to the bookstore or credit for their Kindle for reading a certain number of books each month.

More parenting how-tos

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