How to Encourage Joyful Readers

Proficient reading skills set our children up for success in so many ways. Cultivating a love of joyful reading provides them with a lifetime of inspiration, entertainment, and knowledge.

Do teachers teach kids to read? Of course. What parents do at home plays an enormous role in a child’s perspective and success. Here are our tips to support learning and make reading a positive experience that your child will carry with fondness throughout their lives.

Read to your child - early, often, and as long as they will let you

It’s never too early to begin reading to your child. Even infants benefit greatly from hearing the sound of our voices; listening to spoken language is one of the ways most children learn to speak and communicate with others. The tone of your voice also brings comfort, lends familiarity, and reading together daily can become a special part of a child’s routine.

As infants and toddlers begin to grow, board books are perfect because children can learn to turn the pages themselves without fear of accidentally tearing them. When you read to your child at this age, they will delight in the stories and your voice, but they will also begin to learn how to hold and use a book.

As your child gets older, the types of books you read to them will change, but we advocate for sticking with it as long as they are willing. Many families find they still read to their child into their preteen years and beyond. Even when children get to the point of complete reading independence, it’s still a treat to have someone tell us a story.

Be a reader yourself, and let your child see

For so many of us, reading takes on different roles in our lives at different times. You likely had a time in your life when you read for pleasure, though you may or may not do so now. Some parents would like to read more, but feel like they never have enough time.

Consider this a note of encouragement: you deserve the time to read for yourself. Books enrich our lives. They give us a healthy escape when we need one. They teach us and give us new perspectives.

Even if it’s just for ten minutes a day, carve out some time in your routine to read for yourself. Subtly or not, make sure your child knows you’re doing this. While the reading is for you, you may as well reap the benefits of your child seeing you as a reader. Our children look to us as models; we may as well become the peopl