5 Reading Tips You Must Read

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There are more people in the United States that can read and don’t than those who are illiterate (To Read or Not To Read- National Endowment for the Arts, 2007). Why?

Fact: Less than 1/3 of 13-year-olds are daily readers (National Endowment for the Arts, 7). 52% of Americans ages 18-24 reported reading books for pleasure in a 2002 study. This was a 12% decline from 1992. However, this is not a young American isolated age group of non-readers. This decline was consistent within the 25-34 at 8% and 34-44 age brackets at 11% too. Why?

There is less of a focus now than ever before on skills instead of the untested effects reading has on us.

What motivates anyone to read? Interest, engagement in the topic, desire to understand, having the CHOICE and recommendation of those we trust leads us to a book. How often do we take the path less traveled instead of turning on a computer or the television?

What should you do? Reading with your child, teaching your child to learn to read, helping a child learn to read, beginning reading initiatives as a family and a blend of all are great ways to engage and model the importance of reading with kids.

To spark a child’s love for reading we need to model loving it ourselves.

  1. Make a reading investment in the books your child reads– Read the books you think your child will enjoy and motivate them to read by sharing WHY they might want to take a look at it.
  2. Take inventory– Discuss your child’s interests with them. Help them form a list based on places they’d like to visit, those they’d like to meet dead or alive, questions they’d like answered, even incorporate favorite television shows and movies and write it all down. Your local librarian will have book ideas!
  3. Set goals– We all want to read more. Set goals to read X amount in X amount of time expanding the typical genre focus along with your child. Write down these goals together and visit them periodically with each other.
  4. Book Clubs– Develop book clubs with your family and encourage your family to regularly read and discuss with peers. Sign up for book discussions at your local library, form a club amongst friends, hire a moderator for lively book discussions. Encourage your family to spend 1 night a month sharing what they are reading and discussing books together.
  5. Read– Just as an athlete’s skills will deteriorate without practice a reader’s skills decline if not regularly engaged. This must extend beyond a work related focus. Developing and modeling to your children a will to read is different than having and using reading skills.

Reading widely and daily for pleasure – even the syrupy sweet gossip stories that only words on a page; iPad, or Kindle – is not just important but necessary to stop reading atrophy in future generations. We can begin to regenerate our nation into critical thinkers and readers one book at a time.