What can I do to keep them reading?

What can I do to keep them reading?

You now have a child who has leaned the skills of reading and is probably quite successful at passing tests but are they using these skills to bring meaning to their world? Are they using them to investigate and research, and for enjoyment and communication? Bringing reading to their world helps with creativity, opens up their understanding of the current issues, allows them to form opinions and learn new things, and, with wide exposure, teaches them to filter out hearsay and innuendo. It is up to you to encourage a love of investigation.

Reading is an essential life skill and the sooner children get on the path to being independent readers the easier they are going to find school.
So much of what children do in class requires competent reading and comprehension skills. From an early age there is a lot of self directed instruction in classrooms and they need to be able to work in groups and individually, from written and verbal instructions. From very early on they will research internet based information and have to present their findings in writing and verbally.

Reading Texts

  • Have a daily reading time that’s especially for them. Reading aloud to kids doesn’t necessarily stop when they are capable of reading alone. It can be a great opportunity to introduce and discuss issues, or plot, prediction or simply for fun
  • Reading to them regularly allows them to enjoy the stories in books and novels that are above their reading capability.
  • Read a chapter a day after dinner.
  • Read along with them, filling in unknown words, so they get to feel the rhythm of the normal rate of reading.
  • Take turns in reading aloud – one paragraph, page, sentence or chapter each.
  • Allow them to read books of all difficulty levels. Don’t worry if they choose “easy” books.
  • Encourage them to take a book to bed to read before “lights out”. A bed lamp is a useful reading aid.

Out and About

  • Encourage them to do real world reading as often as possible. Read street signs, recipes, ingredient lists on packaged foods, shopping lists, menus – anything and everything.
  • Talk, discuss, explain, sing – build their vocabulary and general knowledge. It is hard to work out a word if you have never heard it before.
  • Ask them to retell what they have done – “we just made cakes, tell me what we did…”


  • Find some good reading apps.
  • Teach them to use the internet to find the answers to questions or to find out about something that they are interested in
  • Have them send emails or text messages to significant people in their life, like grandparents, to tell them what they have been doing.
  • Use a camera to take photos of events, put it on to a text document and write a caption. Using a program like Microsoft OneNote would allow them to document things that are important to them.

Using reading for enjoyment and to help them add to and decipher their world is its real purpose. They should begin to do this as soon as they are able.