Many parents struggle to get – and keep – their children interested in reading.
One of the reasons is not knowing where to find suitable reading material. Whether you are reading to your child or your children are reading on their own, creating the reading habit is much easier if you have the right materials. Here are some tips on finding them.
1. Watch other children. One of the best ways to find out what your children might like to read is to check out what their peers are reading. Find out what books they are taking to school and reading during the breaks. If parents are complaining that their children are staying up late to read a particular book then you can be pretty sure that it's a good choice for your child. If your child comes home from school talking about a book that everyone else is reading then buy the book so your child can be part of the in crowd discussing the book.
2. What interests your child? As an adult there will be some books that you race through because you're interested in the topic while others really seem to drag. It's the same for children, so choosing books about things that interest them will make it easier for them to read. Whether the books are about dinosaurs, rockets, fairies or dolls is not important — the essential thing is encouraging your child to read. Believe it or not, some young children even like non-fiction books. They enjoy learning facts about places and animals that they can use to impress their friends and their parents friends too!
3. Get help from online retailers. Online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have special sections for kids' books sorted by age and topic. They make it easy to see which books are bestsellers in a particular area. You can also read reviews by parents which will help you to decide whether a certain book is right for your child. If hundreds of people have bought a book which their child has loved then you're probably safe to buy it for yours. Be warned, though, that age isn't everything when selecting a book. A better guide is your child's reading level which can vary considerably. It is not uncommon, especially with young children, to have three or four different reading levels represented in a single class at school.
4. Find recommendations online. There are dozens of booklists online with recommendations from readers, parents, booksellers and others which allow you to find books that might suit your child. For example, you may be able to get access through your library to the NoveList database which allows you to search for books and find books similar to those your children have already read and enjoyed. Educational publishers such as Scholastic and Dorling Kindersley may also have recommendations.
So you don't have to go it alone when finding books that will instill the love of reading in your children. Follow these tips and your children will be avid readers in no time at all.