My friend Hillary, who reads more than anyone I know, wrote about how she’s tried to create an environment that encourages her boys to be readers.
Here’s some of her thoughtful advice:
Read in front of your kids. Reading is what adults do. All adults. Men and women. Mike, before the boys were born, tended to read only before bed, but I asked him to make a point to read in front of the boys because I didn’t want them thinking books were something only women liked.
Read with your kids every single day. Yes, you’ll read board books, but read novels, too, sooner than you think. You need the entertainment and you’ll be surprised how interested they can be. Read Ferdinand and Where The Wild Things Are and I Want My Hat Back and The Book With No Pictures and keep reading them as you go on to Charlotte’s Web and The Hobbit and Wonder and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Read tidbits from your own books, when it makes sense. Read poems. Read news stories. Read cereal boxes. Read even when they won’t sit still. And when they don’t want to read to you and/or stop wanting to be read to — at age 9, our oldest has hit this milestone — then read together in companionable silence. We have a family reading hour most nights before bed. Sometimes I read aloud. Sometimes we all read silently. Either way, I think we all feel cozy and content and loved.
Image via the Library of Congress