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How to raise a reader

Feb 18, 2021 | Parents, Services, Students

My child is not a reader….

As a kid, I always had my head in a book. As an adult, I’m the same way. I tend to gravitate to non-fiction, although my favorite fiction authors include Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Vonnegut.

I was raised in a reading culture. My parents were both teachers and always had a book or two on their nightstand. I loved going to the library – and still do!

Whenever a parent calls me for test prep, my first question is always, “Does your child like to read for pleasure?” About 75% of the time, the answer is no and the parent usually sighs in regret. Then I ask them if they like to read. Sheepishly, many of them admit that they do not.

It’s regrettable when I hear that kids don’t read. Avid reading will help a child with vocabulary development, tone identification, and even grammar.

Here are the things that I suggest when you have a non-reader in the house:

  1. Go to a local bookstore and find a book you and your child can enjoy – together. Talk about the story.
  2. Get your child a subscription to a magazine you think would be enjoyed. A sports fan? Sports Illustrated. Science? Popular Science. An intellectual? The Economist.
  3. Incentivize your child to read one or two articles daily from The New York Times. Again, read them with him or her. If you see a sophisticated word, ask your child to figure it out from the sentence.
  4. Create a reading time for your family where everybody sits in a room, electronics off, a enjoys a good book. 

Reading need not be a chore. If you help your child find great reading material, in time you will build a reader.

Please check out my website, https://sheptin.com/ to get some ideas of books your child may enjoy or find interesting reads.