As a parent, I’m constantly told that I need to model reading to my children so that they will learn to love books and reading too.
The reality is simple, life is busy. It can be hard to fit in something else, even something as enjoyable as getting into a good book, especially while the kids are around.
I have started making a conscious effort to read more and I have a few tips that may help with modelling reading to your kids.
- Read with your kids – if your kids are small, read to them, if they are older, set aside some family reading time where everyone reads their own book, or even reads a book out loud together. This can be some fun family time as well as modelling reading to your kids.
- Listen to Audio Books – Some people say that listening to audio books isn’t really reading, but I disagree. Listening to audio books in the car or at home while doing other things like housework, can make the time go faster and you can share a book together.
- Carry books with you when you go out – When my kids were little and we would go to a cafe or knew we’d be waiting at an appointment, we would take books with us to read. I got into the habit of taking a book with me wherever I go. The kids would see me reading, as well as read books themselves.
- Have books around the house – as well as books on bookshelves, my kids see books in the house that I’m currently reading. My kids see the bookmarks move and change as I finish one book and start the next one.
- Read books as well as eBooks – it can be tempting to download the latest eBook on your phone or device and just read books there. For kids, it just looks like you are looking at your phone, they don’t know you are reading a book. Reading physical books will show your kids that you are reading
- Read in front of your kids – if books aren’t your thing, read newspapers, magazines, or anything else in front of your kids. It shows them that it’s good to read a variety of different things
Modelling reading to your kids doesn’t have to be hard. The aim is to normalise reading and show them that they can read all sorts of things – books, magazines, newspapers, comics, graphic novels, picture books, and so on.