A few weeks ago I was lying on the couch reading Where the Crawdads Sing. My neighborhood just started a book club and it was the first time I’ve picked up a book in a LONG TIME.
My daughter came over and asked “Mom what you are you doing?” I told her “I’m reading a book!” She thought for a second and then said “But you aren’t saying anything!?”
This gave me a good laugh! I explained to her that I was reading in my head and she was instantly intrigued. “I want to learn how to read in my head!”
Although we know it’s true, they are always watching. Sometimes it takes moments like this to wake us up.
If I want her to enjoy reading and find the same joy I experience when exploring a new world through text, then I need to be a better model.
The week it took me to read the book showed me a few things about inspiring our kids to become readers for life.
First, technology is always pulling at our attention. I’ll admit it, sometimes I think toddler play is bland and well a little boring. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
As I sit there and watch my kids do the same thing over and over again, I naturally want to be entertained.
So what do I do? I reach for my phone. It’s so easy. It’s so addictive.
I feel like as a society we’ve lost the art of being still. Of being a little bored.
It’s okay to just sit and do nothing. We don’t always have to be scrolling, “researching” things or texting our friends.
Okay let’s get back to reading. So I found the week I read that book I wasn’t on my phone nearly as much. Instead of scrolling social media for entertainment I had my nose in the book.
It was so refreshing! My kids didn’t ask to watch things as often and I noticed they weren’t trying to look over at my shoulder to see my phone either.
So if we want to raise kids who become readers for life we need to take a break from technology. Put the phone down. Set limits for ourselves.
Phone time between 1 and 2 pm. Then take a break for a few hours. Remember our kids are watching.
Which leads me to these second point. Read in front of them! Find books that interest you and let them watch you read.
It inspired my daughter to get back to her reading lessons. We took a break when our 3rd baby was born in March and she was complaining about getting back to it. But after she saw me reading she has been on a roll with wanting to learn again.
And finally make reading time a part of your daily routine.
Inspiring Our Kids to Become Readers for Life
Clever Publishing recently sent us a few children’s books for our library and it refreshed our routine. P.S. thanks for sponsoring this conversation! 🙂
Our kids loved reading something new and our oldest daughter was so excited to read a few pages to our baby.
Don’t wait until they are in school to start reading. If you want to inspire your kids to become readers for life expose them to different reading materials at a young age.
For example, Clever Publishing has the cutest Look & Find books. It doesn’t have a lot of words, but that’s okay. Our daughter can read the directions on each page. And it’s a fun way to get into a book.
We also recently discovered books on tape and our kids are loving it.
Last but not least, make it a family event.
Our kids love looking at “big kid” books as they call it as well as board books because they can read them to their baby sister.
When we have family reading time it’s a great chance to bond and explore new worlds together.
So what about you? How do you create culture of reading in your home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.