Helping kids Love Writing and Reading

Learning to LOVE Written Communication

Very few things could make a human “hate” reading and writing. Here’s a quick list of ways to counteract the natural human desire to communicate:

Ways to make a kid hate reading and writing

  • Forcing them to read specific things that are not interesting
  • Forcing them to read to a timer
  • Reluctantly forcing yourself to read to them against your will every day
  • Limiting the “approved reading material” in any way
  • Making writing boring by insisting upon a letter-by-letter obsession with perfection (how many successful adults have perfect penmanship?)
  • Making your own marks on the paper they were writing (the nerve…)
  • Assigning arbitrary value to ANY form of written self-expression (accept it)
  • Reading ANYTHING in a journal, unless you’ve been invited to read it

Ways to help a kid love reading and writing

  • Read them the stories you loved as a child and let them share your passion
  • Talk about the characters, the setting and how you felt about the story
  • Allow them to choose whichever books they want you to read to them and read them
  • Visit the library regularly and let them choose books
  • Allow them to use the Internet for research and teach them how to find information online
  • Type (or write) as they narrate stories or love letters.
  • Print their words in a large font (so their eyes can focus on it) and let them illustrate their own story book or note to Grandma
  • Have a “reading nook” in a quiet corner of the house. A throw blanket, a place to sit your cocoa mug and good lighting are essential
  • Let them see you enjoying a book
  • Write them a bedtime story, maybe about the day you met your spouse or something that happened when you were a child, or the day they were born
  • Give books as gifts
  • Keep books in the car
  • Write them notes
  • Send them cards
  • Let them hold the grocery list and cross off items as you get them

This is just a few from the top of my head. I bet I could add a hundred more. What are some of your favorite ways to share a love of reading with your children?

from “Please do not read to your child for 20 minutes a day” (with permission)

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