Raising a Reader

Posted by  | Wednesday, January 11, 2012  at 2:05 PM  
I have been reading Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke, and it has been very helpful in guiding me through a structure for reading. One of his last chapters is called "Raising Readers," and gives suggestions to parents for how to encourage your children in reading. I enjoyed the chapter greatly, and wanted to pass along his suggestions to our readers (Note: the main points are his, the additional "thoughts" are mine). I'd love to hear your thoughts!

1. Fill your home with books--seems obvious, but kids will learn to love books if they are around books.
2. Read to your kids :-)
3. Don't stop reading to your kids--read to them even when they are older! See The Read-Aloud Handbook for suggestions on reading aloud to your kids.
4. Read your books in front of your kids--model a habit of book reading in front of your children. Reinke even encourages you to try to read "heavy" books in front of your kids, not just "lite fluffy reading". Again, it is about modelling a love of reading to your kids.
5. Teach young children to read
6. Push entertainment to the background
7. Listen to audio books in the car--check out free classic audiobooks here
8. Hunt for the best books--ask for people to recommend books to you. Consult a literature guide like Honey for a Child's Heart or Books Children Love, and read book reviews on the blog Orange Marmalade.
9. Anticipate new books--attend book signing events, anticipate the day a new book is released, etc.
10. Celebrate the classics--find something fun to reenact or celebrate in a book. Reinke and his family celebrated Hobbit Day in the fall :-)
11. Cultivate your child's moral imagination
12. Help interpret worldviews as you read to your children--walk through tough situations with them, explaining why characters made certain choices, and help them discern the worldview presented
13. Read your favorite excerpts to your children
14. Invite your children to read to the family
15. Challenge your children to improve books--ask them what they would change about the book, or how they would improve it.
16. Most importantly, read the Bible together as a family

What suggestions do you have for cultivating a love of reading in your children? How are you cultivating a love of reading yourself?



1 comment:

Nichole said...

Leah, I just love reading. I am a huge reader of paper back novels though it seems with technology we as a country are regressing to less hand held novels. I love having my library, regardless they've already been read. Re-reading always seemed to open a new insight on why or how things happened in the manner they did. I love the idea of reading aloud to your children, even as they get older. I am certain that reading the Bible will be a nightly if not weekly thing with your little ones. Certain devotionals assist with reading through out Gods word, just not page by page... Best of luck to you Finns!!

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