I am a reading specialist and special educator by profession. I have spent many years working with small groups of children, trying to encourage them as readers. Most of these children are 2 or more years behind with their reading. As a reading specialist and special educator I have received a TON of training on how to teach reading, how readers learn, and the science of reading. The fact remains that the best way to learn to read, is to develop a love of reading. Today I am going to offer 5 tips to help encourage a love of reading at any age.
- Introduce new and engaging books. Libraries have plenty of choices. But have you thought to look at garage sales, consignment sales, or trading with friends? Try and make a weekly trip to your local library to constantly have a rotating collection of stories.
- Create special experiences that involve reading. My children look forward to Daddy reading time each evening, where they cuddle up in bed and listen to him read a chapter book. My toddler loves when we lay out a quilt and pull up a bin of books to read and look through.
- Children should be encouraged to self select books. Yes, even your toddlers. Keep the books at their eye level, where they can pull books out and decide what they want to look through. Reading should be done both independently and supported. Toddlers learn about concepts such as turning pages, direction of print, by looking through books. It is important to allow toddlers to explore books and develop an interest in reading.
- Children should hear and see a variety of people reading. This includes different members of your immediate household. It also includes other family and friends you may be visiting or trips to the local story time at the library. Children should understand that reading is important to everyone around them.
- Create a special reading nook. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but don’t you love a place to cozy up to a story? Maybe you have a few special blankets to cuddle when reading, or a special little chair next to a basket of favorite books. Make it inviting and comfortable. Check out some of my pins for creative reading areas →
How have you encouraged reading in your home?