Share Your Ideas on Getting Your Children to Like Reading

Our weekly Mom's Talk feature that seeks answers from parents.

Concord Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Concord.

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about local neighborhood schools, the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while raising children.

Moms Talk will also be a place to drop in for a talk about the latest parenting hot topic.

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a question from the Moms Council.

This week's question comes from Lori Day, an education consultant in Concord.

Q: How can you encourage your child to love reading?


Answer in the comments section on the site.

Lori Day March 09, 2011 at 09:06 PM
I'm going to answer this one from my personal perspective, not my professional one. I feel that there were two significant things that my daughter's father and I did to encourage her to be the avid reader that she is today. The first is we modeled it for her all the time. She saw us reading, discussing our books, and proudly displaying them in our home library, in which special shelves were reserved for her books. The second is that we told her from a very young age that most things in life had limits, such as toys and Kimball's ice cream. Those were things you could only have small amounts of or could only buy on occasion. Books, we told her, were the only exception--she could have as many as she wanted, as long as she read them, and there was no limit...other than that, if cost was an issue, we bought her used ones (from used bookstores or online). One of my daughter's favorite Concord events was the annual June library used book sale on the lawn. We would give her a tote bag and $20 and say, "Fill 'er up!" She'd turn up an hour later bending under the weight of the bag. The books were 50 cents or one dollar each, and she'd bring home as many as she could carry. Although she had a library card and used it, and even though we all love libraries, for my child, collecting the books and displaying them was fun and a source of pride, and at prices under a dollar, we felt we could "spoil" her in this way (and this way only!) She appreciates it to this day.
Betsy Levinson March 09, 2011 at 10:37 PM
I think having different types of reading materials around and accessible is important. Magazines that parents read, different things on the coffee table, and definitely a story before bed every night. If children see their parents reading and enjoying articles and books, they see it is important.
Edward Bernard March 10, 2011 at 11:50 AM
My kids are 19 now, and even as college students, still read extensively for pleasure. We did 3 things, though only two were conscious choices: 1) didn't allow them to watch television at all until they were 11 (I think), then limited it very stringently (1 program per week), 2) read to them basically any time they wanted, but at least for 1 hour a night, which continued until we could no longer agree on books to read, and 3) took them to libraries and bookstores every week, and allowed them virtually limitless access to any book. We are also avid readers ourselves.
Lori Bromberg March 10, 2011 at 12:41 PM
We have two boys, ages 14 and 16 and they are big readers. People often ask me how I got two boys to read so much, here is how I answer: 1. I'm a big reader and I always have a book with me. When they were young, I always brought books for them wherever we went. Often they would say, 'I don't need a book,' but if I brought it, they would end up reading it. 2. We went to the library often and when they got to the stage of saying 'I don't want to go,' I still went and brought home stacks of books for them, and they'd end up reading them. 3. When young, we read to them every nap time, every bed time. 4. We let them read what they wanted, Captain Underpants was a big hit when they were 6 or 7. No judgement on my part, reading is reading. 5. When they were young, we limited screen time to 1 hour/day. 6. We didn't buy any gaming systems until they were 10 or older. We never allowed handheld games at restaurants or other social gatherings, but they were always allowed to read. 7. For long car rides we would listen to a book on tape, Harry Potter was a huge hit, very entertaining and we all enjoyed listening. Books were just always around and available!
Bill Montague March 10, 2011 at 03:30 PM
To encourage young children to read I would suggest books that will grab their interests. I wrote a book about the Little Mouse who lived with Henry David Thoreau, at Walden Pond.There was a mouse who came and lived with him at Walden when he built his little house there. In Walden under "Brute Neighbors" he describes this mouse. Well any way, it's educational as it follows Walden along from the mouses point of view. Children really love this book! I have sold a little over ten thousand copies - I "Self Published" it. It is now in it's 3rd printing. There are ten of his interesting statements woven into the story, then put them into "Mouse Talk" so children can understand them. It was a fun book to write. On pages 46 & 47 I included 12 of the most interesting notes by the children who read the book and sent me letters saying what they liked the most about the story. Thanks for listening! Cheers! Bill Montague
Virginia Krueger March 23, 2011 at 08:20 PM
having had 4 children...all dyslexic, and for that reason, obviously disinclined to read...(never mind write!) i decided to buy them a comic book a day, when we were on vacation. i figured...they'd be wanting to know what the dialogue was, after seeing the illustrations. they wouls also, assaciate comics/reading, with the joy of being away from the demands of school, and in nice places. At the time, comic books were quite frowned upon by teachers, so I was going against the stream. However, as young adults...my first two kids have managed to compensate for their, very obvious, learning disorder. Comic books, however violent and non-intellectual, they may seem...are, to some kids, compelling enough to push them to leap over their difficulties...rather than give up. They did.
Bill Montague March 23, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Virginia Krueger, You have give us a new dimension in the art of learning to overcome a reading disability. We can all take the lesson you have taught - and perhaps use it in the future. Have you given any thought to writing a small book on what you have learned? It could be used in schools and other places where dyslexic problems are addressed. Thank you and cheers! Bill Montague
Betsy Levinson March 23, 2011 at 10:01 PM
I agree with you, Bill. Virginia, great job with your children.


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