Updated: Aug 23, 2021
I just finished my latest action packed crime fiction novel, and I am OK this time. The last one ended on such a terrible note I struggled to recover and I needed the next book in the series NOW!
When I was in High School there were often days I would devour a John Grisham or Clive Cussler until the early hours of the morning and then somehow managed to stay awake in class the next day.
Then when I became a mum I stopped reading so much. It was hard to get into a book without being disrupted all the time, and most novels are meant to be read more than one chapter at a time! And then of course, If I did read til all hours of the morning, my body would take DAYS to recover from lack of sleep... aka a reading hangover!
But reading is still one of my favourite things to do, but now I need to prioritize and make sure I have enough time to read, otherwise I will just get frustrated.
Yesterday it was very quiet in my house in the afternoon and when I went to check on the kids here were 3 out of 4 quietly reading and they continued to do so for a good hour. Firstly this doesn't happen in my house, my kids are incredibly active and someone is always moving. But they had all come home from their after school activities, clearly happy to chill. And secondly, this made me incredibly happy. I have always wanted my kids to love reading, and this was my proof!
There are many benefits to reading for children, and many ways you can help your kids learn to love reading. Here are just a few:
Reading helps a child grow their imagination - unlike already imagined TV shows
Reading grows their vocabulary
Reading helps expand their concentration - and what child doesn't need that?!
Reading teaches them empathy through seeing other's perspectives
And if your child reads books about animals or any other informative text, then they will learn A LOT about them and spout facts at every opportunity!
The fact that my 7 year old can sit still for an hour and read, is something I struggled to even imagine... There were definitely things hubby and I did and continue to do, to encourage this reading in our children. I know we read to them often as little kids. I recall a phase of reading Wacky Wednesday, every Wednesday for weeks. We also take books wherever we go. To the hair dresser, the dentist, church or a cafe. Anywhere that would mean kids need to sit and be patient for a prolonged period of time. And there are always books in the car ready to be read if opportunity calls for it. I often read in front of the kids and I talk about how good the book is that I am reading. David is the 'library guy' having made friends with the local librarian, and he is there every other week. Sometimes the kids go with him, other times he sits with them and browses the library catalogue and places reservations for them, ready to pick up the next book in the series the following week. Each one of our kids have different tastes in styles of writing and content of books, and being part of the local library has meant they can each read what they like, to their hearts content. And if you get to the point like us, every child has their book series they are working through and will sit and read and experience the benefits outlined above. To summarize:
Read to your kids - no matter their age
Become a member of your local library
Let them see you enjoy reading
Do you have any other tips about helping kids love reading? Let me know! Nina x