Hey there, I’m Lauren, blogger over at Taking in the Seitz and mom to one sweet little girl, Teagan. In addition to that, I work in an elementary school as a reading specialist. I love blending my work as a teacher with my online communities, and sharing what I have learned over the years.
Early literacy is a huge part in your child’s development and as a reading teacher, I love to share ways to help families build this love of reading in the home from an early age through the school years.
One way that you can do this is by setting up a daily reading routine.
It may seem silly, but I have come into contact with many parents who ask, how do I get my child to love of reading, even before they head to school? The answer is always to incorporate reading into your daily activities. And I know things are busy, and there is always so much to do, but here are some small, simple steps you can take to ensure that this becomes a priority in your home and a fun way to spend time together as a family.
- First, set a specific time of the day that you want family reading time to take place. The most traditional is before bed, but that might not work for you. Think about a time when your family is all present, and needs some winding down. Some alternatives to bedtime could include after the kids get home from school, before homework, right after dinner (even at the dinner table!) or first thing in the morning.
- Next, have books in easy to access places. If you only have them on a bookshelf, out of reach in bedrooms or the family office, everyone will be less likely to grab them and read. Have baskets or low shelves in common rooms, so they will be easy to grab for a fifteen minute family reading session.
- Lastly, be consistent and expect the same with your family. If you make it important and keep the appointment for family reading time, so will your family. As kids get older, they may choose to read their own books, but as long as everyone is reading during that time, it accomplishes the goal. Sure, things get hectic and we might need to be flexible, but try to carve out some time each day. In addition, expect attention during the family reading time. Children shouldn’t be cleaning their room or doing homework while a parent reads to them.
Trust me-two birds with one stone does not apply here!
And if your children aren’t in school yet, this type of consistency will set your child up for success when school does start and reading nightly is an expectation.
There are plenty of ways to keep this a fun time with your family. Switch it up and have siblings read to each other and pick out the family read aloud book. Change up the location – maybe in a fort, or all piled in your bed. Choose a book that has been turned into a movie that your kids love, and read that aloud to them.
In the end, setting up this routine is easier than one might think. Following these key tips, you should able to build a solid foundation for your children for years to come!