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How to Encourage Children to Read a Book

Learn how to encourage children to read a book from reading specialist Anne Glass in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi. my name is Anne Glass. I'm a reading and learning specialist at a private school in New York City and I work with Kindergarteners through 3rd graders on Reading, Word Study, and Writing Skills. In addition to be a reading specialist and learning specialist, I'm also a parent and today I'm going to talk to you about topics in reading. Almost every school from at least first grade on, requires students to read about 20 -30 minutes each night. Now getting your child to actually sit down and read the book can often be a challenge and I hear from parents all the time that it usually culminates in a battle involving bribery, threats, pleading, and all kinds of drama. There are some things you can do to avoid getting to this point. The first one is to model your own reading. If your child sees you reading and enjoying a book, he's going to be much more likely to sit down and do it. It's a great way to avoid a do as a say and not as I do scenario. And children who grow up in a household where reading is a desired activity are much more likely to be independent readers on their own. The next suggestion is to make sure your child has a designated reading place. That could be in bed, or a special chair, or on the sofa, or just anywhere in your home where he feels comfortable reading. You can even have a discussion around that, discussing where you enjoy reading. You might have a special chair, and you can talk about how that feels comfortable to you and its a place where you can really concentrate and create a quiet bubble for reading for yourself. Another important tip for enforcing reading time at home and making it a pleasant thing to do is to eliminate possible distractions. That means turning off the TV, and turning off the computer, and also making sure that noisy siblings are out of the way and quiet, which I know is easier said than done. It's also completely acceptable to provide a small bribe or gimmick to your child if you think that will motivate them to start reading. I recently gave my son a book light and he actually thought it was fantastic and he looks forward every night to getting into bed at bedtime and pulling the covers up over his head, turning on his book light, and reading for about a half an hour. So that's actually worked out really nicely, and it felt like a treat for him and it made it something fun to do, and he's also told me that it just creates silence around him where its just him and his book. One gimmick that I would advise against, and I've seen a few of these, are these bookmarks that have a digital clock on them and you can actually set the clock for the 20 or 30 minutes that is required for reading. The problem with this is that its the only thing your childs going to pay attention to and they will watch the minutes tick down until the required time is up. So there's never going to be an opportunity for that child to really dig into the book and have the pleasure of losing himself in a story.

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