Back to Back Issues Page
10 Tips to Read More with Your Family
October 16, 2015

10 Tips to Read More with Your Family

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." ~ Emilie Buchwald

Research shows that there is a strong correlation between reading skills and academic success, so your children have much to gain by becoming avid readers.

Here are ten easy tips to encourage reading in your home.

1. Buy good children’s books from second hand stores – that way you can afford to buy more and if they get damaged, the loss is not as great.

2. Have baskets of books that are accessible to your children.

3. Use recipe stands to display colourful story books or reference books.

4. Read at bedtime and keep a few beside the bed.

5. Keep a few books in the car.

6. Invest in a bookshelf and start filling it.

7. Join the local library and visit it regularly.

8. Choose a variety of different kinds of books – board books, waterproof bath books, pop-up books, comic books, noisy books, books with different textures to touch and feel, sticker books.

9. Read a poem or nursery rhyme each day and encourage your child to learn one off by heart.

10. Ask friends and family to give your children gift vouchers from bookstores or online stores as gifts.

11. Use audiobooks.

"You are not reading a book to a child; You are sharing a book with a child." ~ Jay Heale

A house without books is like a room without windows ~ Horace Mann

John Holt on Teaching Reading

John Holt was an educator and author. Holt became disillusioned with the school system after several years of working within it; he became convinced that reform of the school system was not possible and began to advocate homeschooling. He believed that "children who were provided with a rich and stimulating learning environment would learn what they are ready to learn, when they are ready to learn it."

What is your philosophy about teaching reading?

John Holt: I think the teaching of reading is mostly what prevents reading. Different children learn different ways. I think reading aloud is fun, but I would never read aloud to a kid so that the kid would learn to read. You read aloud because it's fun and companionable. You hold a child, sitting next to you or on your lap, reading this story that you're having fun with, and if it isn't a cozy, happy, warm, friendly, loving experience, then you shouldn't do it. It isn't going to do any good.

I think children are attracted toward the adult world. It's nice to have children's books, but far too many of them have too much in the way of pictures. When children see books, as they do in the family where the adults read, with pages and pages and pages of print, it becomes pretty clear that if you're going to find out what's in those books, you're going to have to read from that print. I don't think there's any way to make reading interesting to children in a family in which it isn't interesting to adults.


ABC Fun & 1-2-3 - Encouraging Reading

ABC Fun & 1-2-3 is a literature-rich preschool programme that includes reviews of over 100 quality children's stories that you and your child can enjoy together - plus it includes lots of other age-appropriate activities.

Click here for more info and sample lessons: ABC Fun & 1-2-3

Developmental Activities

1. Gross motor skills

Hold your child by the feet while he does a 'wheelbarrow' walk on the floor, supporting his body with his hands. This is an excellent strengthening exercise for the muscles of shoulder girdle. Let him rest every now and then.

2. Fine motor skills

Manual dexterity: Let your child pick up small objects such as plastic toys or shapes using clothes pegs.

3. Visual skills

Visual analysis: Cut large shapes such as a circle, square and triangle from paper. Then cut them in half and then place all the pieces on the table in front of your child. She must put them together to build the complete shape once more.

4. Auditory skills

Encourage your child to combine sounds and actions. When you make a sound like an animal, let him pretend to be that animal. You can also make the sounds of cars and other vehicles. More ideas are frogs (croak and jump), horse (neigh and gallop), an aeroplane, a train, a cat, a mouse, a bird,a chicken etc.

5. Mathematical skills

Choose a number and see how many times you and your child can spot it in a day. Look at post box numbers, road signs, address numbers etc.

6. Language and thinking skills

Active Language Development: Play the “why?” game with your child, but you both get to ask questions and give answers: Why do you wear clothes? Why do we eat food? Why does a car have wheels? Why does a house have windows?

7. Faith-building

Pick one aspect of your child's character that needs training, such as perseverance, helpfulness (with a good attitude) or generosity (sharing) and make a focused effort to encourage and train your child in that area. Make sure you are setting a good example too. Praise her for her efforts.

Till next time...


Don't leap into the Unknown!

Personal Homeschool Support via Live Online Webinars Weekly

Crashproof your homeschooling by getting the answers you need to start well, to handle your worries and doubts and to build your confidence. Shirley offers her experience as a veteran homeschool mother, author and consultant via live online webinars to help you avoid the common traps that befall so many new homeschoolers.
Sign up today!

Back to Back Issues Page