Ways to Foster a Love of Reading
Ways to Foster a Love of Reading
Learning to read is a foundational milestone in a child’s life. Each year new research continues to show its compelling importance. Reading increases your vocabulary and writing skills, deepens your understanding and insight, expands your imagination, raises your happiness, improves your health, and even boosts your memory. So in a nutshell, reading is pretty awesome and sets you up for success. Here are a few of our favorite tips on how you can help develop lifelong reading habits and foster kids’ love of reading.
Choice Is Key
If you want to promote independent reading, reading choice is key. Encouraging kids to read for pleasure means they need to play a big part in choosing what they read. Kids will be more engaged with the material and better able to remember what they learned. Allow them to self-select based on topics that interest them, but also help expose them to books from a range of genres (mystery, sci-fi, humor, informational, fantasy, biographies) and formats (picture books, chapter books, novels, comic books, magazines, audio books, interactive e-books).
Read—Be a Reader Yourself!
Lead by example and show students good reading habits. Share with them what you’re reading. Tell them about books you love and recommend, and ask them about what they’re reading. Leading by example also means showing that you value reading by setting aside time each day to do it. As educational researcher and language and literacy expert Stephen Krashen points out, “Children read more when they see other people reading.” Here at Capstone, we’ve celebrated our own D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) Day on World Read Aloud Day where all employees stopped their work for a hour to read! Whether it’s reading (or re-reading) a classic, finally getting to a book from their neglected TBR stack, or browsing a favorite magazine or website, employees took a break from their work (which, let’s face it, isn’t going anywhere) and took a joy break.
Make Reading Fun!
If you want to create a ravenous reader, it’s important to make reading a fun experience. Think about:
- Reading Area — Build a cozy, comfortable, and inviting reading area for kids. Think about the colors, lighting, seating, textures, book display, and storage, among other considerations. Look to Pinterest for inspiring reading space ideas.
- Variety — There is a book for every reader. Stock your reading area with a variety of reading materials. As we all know, reading choice is key to fostering a love of reading.
- Activities — Incorporate fun activities to help motivate readers.
- Reading Bingo: Challenge kids to complete a Reading Bingo card with fun prizes as incentives. (Books make great gifts!) Download our Bingo Cards for inspiration.
- Book Swap: Looking for what to read next? Have kids swap a book with a friend to discover peer-favorites.
- Book Club: Socializing with a book club or reading group is a great way to for kids to interact around a book, and as a bonus it helps augment their understanding of the text.
- Family Connection: Ask students to bring home a book to take turns reading aloud with a parent or caregiver, or reading to a younger sibling. For extended vacations from school, such as winter or spring breaks, encourage kids to bring home an audio book to listen together with their family on long car or airplane trips.
- Guest Authors: Invite a favorite author to visit (in-person or virtually) with your students. Hearing an author talk about their inspiration and experiences is a meaningful way for kids to connect with reading. Many Capstone authors would love to visit your classroom. Visit Capstone’s Meet Our Authors page for more information.