Colder weather invites us to snuggle under warm blankets–and with good books. If you’re an avid adult reader, chances are you want to pass that love of reading on to your children. If you’re not a big reader yourself, you still see the value in improving your child’s reading habits. After all, reading is a necessary skill for life. It is one key way we process directions and learn new information.
How do you help your child establish a reading routine? Routines create a sense of order and stability for children. They also help you not have to answer the constant question, “What are we doing next?”
Scholastic reminds parents that it’s just as important to read to big kids as it is little ones. Kids gain time with you and build stronger reading skills as you model word pronunciation and enunciation as well as voice inflection. Plus, you get the added bonus of having a topic (even if it is Harry Potter) to discuss with your tween or teenager.

How to Develop a Routine

  1. Start gradually. Read together every other night at first or even only twice a week.
  2. Add a hook. Read Wonder before you see the movie, for example.
  3. Incorporate everyone. Your big kids can read to the younger ones if you need to finish up packing lunches, but then you can all read a family book together.
  4. PBS has great suggestions to develop a literate home. Have on hand:
    • children’s books
    • writing materials
    • letter magnets
    • books for adults
    • newspapers/magazines
    • define a definitive reading nook–something as simple as a chair with a basket of books
  5. Go to the library together. Enjoy story time and hunt for books together. Don’t forget to get one for yourself!

Remember–literacy begins in your home. If you bring in books, model reading (anything!), and show enthusiasm, your kids will naturally develop into lifelong readers. If you don’t know where to begin, start with our recommended classic children’s books!