We all want our kids to be the best versions of themselves. At times, it can be difficult to distinguish between getting to know our child’s strengths and weaknesses and our desire for them to be good at everything. That’s a lot of pressure to put on ourselves and on our children. When it comes to reading, lower the stakes and try to make the pursuit as fun as possible. Here are a few ways that you can take the stress out of reading and teach your child how to be a better reader in the process.
Choose age-appropriate books.
Great literature exists for all ages and levels. If you’re a reader, you may be tempted to share old favorites with your child. This can be such a rewarding experience provided your child is ready for them. As with movies, you want to get the age right, so your kids love the stories as much as you do! Try not to rush things, and enjoy finding new classics as well as sharing old favorites. For younger readers, books about Amelia Bedelia and Frog and Toad are well-paired with groovy stories about Pete the Cat or Pinkalicious. Sometimes, the best experiences are the ones you share together for the first time.
Build on screen time.
If your child loves a certain movie or TV show, find a book that features the character. It may not be your favorite way to spend your read-aloud time, but it will allow your child to meet characters in more than one format and associate reading as an extension of something they already love. On the flip side, we’ve spotted one of our favorite creators rapping about various phonemics from old Electric Company episodes. We see you, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Expose them to a variety of genres.
Do you love thrillers? Nonfiction? Poetry? Almost every genre of adult books also exists for children. Give them a taste of it all, and see what they gravitate towards. Then, help them find more of what they like. Remember that tastes change, so continue to expose them to a variety of stories, and give them the freedom to choose age-appropriate books on their own as well.