The first way to make reading a priority in your home is to Organize.
I know what you’re thinking: “how does the boring topic of organizing make reading fun?” Make reading part of your regular routine. When reading is something expected, an activity that naturally occurs in your house on a regular basis, your child will learn to participate.
First, start by picking a day of the month for “Library Day.” Public libraries will loan you a book for a month. Set aside one day of the month as library day and mark it on the calendar. My family would always take a big plastic tub to the library and my sisters and I would split up to scour the shelves for books we hadn’t read. We would always fill the tub to the brim and have to drag the heavy container to the checkout station.
Second, use a system at home. Our spot for the large book bin was located in the office and we were only allowed to take one book out of the bin at a time. Finished books had to be returned to the bin in order to read a new one. My mother kept the receipt of books we had checked out each month and the day before Library Day it was our job to make sure all the books were back in the bin.
Third, have a fun way to display the books you own. I remember my father made a wooden shelf for my sister’s Little House on the Prairie collection. My father cut out wooden bookends that and my mother painted them with depictions of Laura Ingalls and her sister Mary. This shelf hung above my sister’s bed for years. When I first met my wife her bedroom walls were adorned with shelves that her parents hung in order to hold her book collections. Make it a fun craft with your kid and create their own personal bookshelf. Make displaying your kids books easy to access and fun to show off to their friends!
Next week we are going to discuss how to make reading a Reward, rather than a regret!
- Written by David Baral, illustrations by Patrick Farley, 2018