5 ways to encourage a child's love of reading

Feb 2018
We believe developing a love for reading is the cornerstone to all other education.

At Kumon, we believe developing a love for reading is the cornerstone to all other education. Here are a few suggestions for ways to encourage your child to read and really benefit from the gains of engaging with literature:

1. Find a book that interests them: half of the battle is finding a way for a child to engage with literature without it feeling like a chore so finding something they are interested in can be a great way to open the door.

Think about things they like i.e. space or dinosaurs and find reading material on this topic. Afterwards ask them about the book, let them share their enthusiasm on the subject with you.

2. Read together and make it fun: don't be afraid to really engage with books - do voices for younger (and sometimes older!) children, act out scenes, visit places where characters might have lived. Reading at home should be an enjoyable activity for both you and your child and can provide some lovely bonding opportunities.

If they do not feel confident enough to read to you, ask them to read to a younger sibling, the reading material may be less challenging, and they will benefit from the enjoyment their sibling will experience from the quality time together.

3. Reflect daily experiences: ask them to read the headlines from the newspaper to you as you make breakfast or dinner, or a film review of something you are thinking of seeing together. This can be a great way to develop younger readers and expand their vocabulary as they can ask you how to pronounce a word and what it means.

4. Let them pick their own books: take your child to the local library or book shop and ask them what they want to take, no matter how obscure, if a book sparks their interest, let them read it, or offer to read it to them. The Kumon Recommended Reading List is also packed with books they may like to explore.

5. Be a role model: one of the most important things you can do is to read yourself. If your child sees you reading, they will copy your behaviour, even from a very young age. It also provides great opportunities to discuss as a family what you are all reading and what you enjoy.