5 Tips on Encouraging Independent Reading with Book Suggestions to Help
A love for reading often starts at home, reading with your child can help to ignite a passion for reading that lasts a lifetime. While there is a lot of pressure for children to read from school, making a space for reading in their life that isn’t stressful allows them to discover the wonderful world of literature and reading on their own.
1. Rediscover reading
Has reading slid to the margins in the past few years? It can be impossible to find a second to spare when you’re raising a family. But rediscovering your love for books can be beneficial to you and your little ones, especially if they are getting ready to go school. Children are constantly learning through copying. Reading is all around us, so there is plenty of opportunity to model ‘being a reader’ – whether it’s reading a novel, magazine, newspaper or recipe! Lead by example, kids love mirroring their parents.
2. Set reading goals
How many books do they want to read? Do they want to read a new book each month? Do they want to focus on shorter books or are they ready to take on the challenge of a longer text?
You could also get them to set reading goals with their friends, you could create a small reading group where they discuss their out of school reading and review the books they have chosen to read. Creating a social aspect to a solitary activity will help give a sense of community and excitement especially if their friends are reading the same book at the same time.
3. Let them chose
Allowing your child to independently decide what book they want to read, with some guidance from you regarding their reading level, will encourage them to associate reading with a sense of freedom. Plus it will allow you to see what interests them most.
Variety of material is also important when it comes to wanting to read. There are joke books, picture books, science books, comic books, history books, even audio books! Make sure children know they don’t just have to read stories. There are many books out there for them to choose!
Check out our range of books on our website, they have been categorised by author as well as by age group. You can find our collection of young adult books here.
4. Regular reading time
Designate a special time after school when your child can read without being disturbed. Setting a regular time every night will help them get into the habit of reading regularly, and it will soon become a part of their day they look forward to. As well as a designated reading time you could also create a fun and cosy reading space.
Even if it is just a corner of their room, creating a space that they will associate with reading will help them get used to not using screens or phones in that space. Make it comfortable with cushions, good lighting, and make sure it is a quiet space where they can relax and focus on their book.
5. Talk about the book
After they have finished reading, let your child talk about what happened in the book, what was their favourite part? Who was their favourite character, what’s their name? Reflecting on the text will help them engage in the book more thoroughly, allowing them to understand the book better. Asking them questions about the book will also help their comprehension. Showing you are interested in what they have read will motivate them to keep reading.
Sharing stories is still really good practice too. It gives the opportunity to practice intonation and expression when reading aloud, and also to ask questions and talk about what’s happening. Being able to understand vocabulary is a key part of reading, discussing words and their meanings is really valuable.
We hope this blog has given you some ideas for encouraging your little ones to get into the fun world of reading. You can find our some our favourite independent books for summer in this blog.