Get Your Kid to Read!
Micah loves to read. He’s four right now, and has been reading for probably eight months. Books are taken away as punishment sometimes, and every night he falls asleep with books surrounding him and his bed. It’s one of my favorite things about him and I hope he loves books forever!
When people find out that he was reading by three, I get a lot of questions about it. I do think he’s super smart (and he probably is, but I’m also biased), but I don’t think that’s what made him not only learn to read, but love to read.
Get Your Kid to Read
- Read to your kid
Most kids are so jealous for time with their parents. I’ve noticed that a lot of Micah’s tantrums can stem from not enough one on one time with me or dad. Reading is such a special way to get one on one time. It also creates a memory associated with reading that they love. Our kids are always bringing us books (sometimes the same ones over and over again) to read to them. Even if I don’t like the book, or have already read it ten times that day, it’s a way to get in some snuggle time that I don’t normally get.Make reading part of your routine. Work it into your schedule, whether it’s first thing in the morning, right before bed, or during baby’s naptime.
- Read in front of your kid
“Do as I say not as I do” does not work with kids. Mine, at least. Read often, and in front of your children. We have a morning quiet time where I do my journal, read and pray, and Micah usually takes this time to do a workbook or work on his reading as well. (or TV.. let’s be real). Even if your kid does choose TV over reading, they’re seeing you choose to read. Eventually, they will mimic your behavior and be choosing to read as well.
- Make books available
Have books around the house! You are the gatekeeper to your home, so if you don’t want to read certain books to them or think they are particularly annoying (…I’m looking at you, Stinky Cheese Man) don’t let them into your house. There are so many books out there though. Buy your kids books. Take them to the library. Sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! (Seriously, do this. You get a book COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE every month, depending on where you live. And if you are able, consider supporting United Way, who coordinates this. We love free books!)Oh, Dolly. We love you. (Click the picture to take you to the Imagination Library website!)
- Let them pick the book
I know I said that you don’t have to let annoying books into your house, but any book is going to get annoying after you’ve read it 50 times. If you want your kid to value reading over their iPad, suck it up and read them the book. And every once in a while, take them to the library and let them pick any book they want. Breathe. Let go of control. You might come home with 5 books on spiders, or 8 graphic novels with a title like “Captain Cheese Face” but let it go. They’ll enjoy the classics once they’re in school.Full Disclosure: I hate going to the library with all three kids, because I can’t put the books on the shelf as fast as my 22 month old can take them off.
- Don’t be afraid of TV
Honestly, after I had Sophia, Micah watched a lot of TV. (Don’t tell the pediatrician). His favorite shows were Yo Gabba Gabba (not super educational, but bands like Weezer and Solange perform on there so I let it slide) and Super Why.Super Why is this awesome show where they fly around and look for letters, learn what sounds they make, and what words to spell with them. Or some variation of that. Micah would watch a lot of it, and I know TV is usually the enemy for getting kids to read, but it can help a ton if you are picky about the shows you let your kids watch!
In addition to this list, I have to add that Micah was/is wayyyy more interested in books than Sophia, and I think a lot of that has to do with his personality, and the fact that he got a lot more one on one time with grandparents/parents than any of our other children ever will (#youngersiblingprobs). If your kid doesn’t enjoy reading, try these things, but don’t get discouraged.
One thing I’ve learned on this parenting journey is that every kid is so different, but they’re all pretty special. Does your kid enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below!