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February 23, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

How can I encourage my young children to read books?

Its great that you want to inspire your daughter to read. I wish there were more dads like you. Ten quick suggestions to encourage your daughter to read more:

* Read to her regularly.
* Go to the library regularly.
* Encourage her to read.
* Ask her about her stories.
* Ask her to read to you.
* Ask her about what she’s reading at school & ask her what she thought/felt about the story.
* Find other forms of media that she likes that encourage her to read (not necessarily directly–but through modeling & by productizing). For instance, PBS.
* Get excited about reading, learning, and going to the library.
* Encourage her to be creative, perhaps incorporating scenes or adventures from the stories.
* Model the behavior you want to see in her–meaning read as a pair or read as a family. (it might also help to have a place that is dedicated to learning/reading/creating in the house which is comfortable–such that seeing it is a reminder of opportunity on the horizon as well as making it super-easy to start the task)

Besides my parents there were a couple which changed me and encouraged me:

* Weekly reader books from Scholastic (although looking back a big motivation was to get the poster when you bought 3 books which encouraged the purchase).
* I read a ton of Garfield comic books through scholastic.
* I really enjoyed Highlights the magazine as well as other kids magazines (Sports Illustrated kids wasn’t out while I was young). I think magazines are great for kids because they are interest and passion driven, often. The downside is obviously advertisements.
* I also really liked arts/experiments/projects type books. There was something tangible there.
* In fifth grade I really enjoyed the comic versions of classics like Sherlock Holmes.

I don’t know if the distinction is always important, but I think as a kid I tended to buy books often based on pictures (not based on the enjoyment of the reading experience).

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