Good Reading Habits

Tips for Raising a Better, More Motivated Reader
(How to begin good reading habits)

With video games and the Internet, along with the time restrictions caused by extracurricular activities, and even homework, it is increasingly difficult to get kids excited about reading.

At mark-my-time, we’re committed to helping make reading a life-long habit for the more than 50 million school-age children across America. In addition to providing a product that has been proven to effectively motivate children to read, we’ve gathered the following tips from parents, educators and government agencies to help encourage good reading habits and strengthen reading skills:

  • Keep plenty of books, magazines and newspapers around the house and make an effort to be seen reading them yourself; you’ll set a positive example that will encourage your child to read.

  • Invite your child to read with you every day.

  • Retake control of the television, because the more children watch television, the less likely they are to want to read.

  • Set time aside just for reading without the distraction of video games, computers, TV or sports.

  • Encourage non-traditional reading. It doesn’t always have to be a book. Encourage the reading of comics, road signs and even cereal boxes to strengthen vocabulary.

  • Read your child’s favorite book over and over.

  • Discuss new words and ensure your child understands the material being read.

  • Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story to maintain interest.

  • Younger children (third grade and below) should read aloud to ensure they are not stumbling over difficult words. Research from the National Reading Panel found that independent silent reading is not effective when it is the only reading instruction children get.

  • Take advantage of children’s “captive moments” by ensuring a selection of age-appropriate reading material in the car and even in the bathroom.

  • Talk about books at dinner. Have each family member talk about something from the book he or she is reading.

  • Read the books your children are reading. If kids find a book slow to get into, tell them what it’s about to entice them.

  • Give books as gifts. Give children new books to read on vacation. Urge your child to give books to friends on birthdays. Perhaps even host a summer book exchange at your house.

  • Encourage your child to join a book club.

  • Keep trying to find the “magic book”, the one that will turn your child on to reading for good.

  • Pack a book just in case you need it. When you are going someplace with your child where you might have to wait, i.e. doctor’s office, airport, etc., bring along a book to read and pass the time more quickly.

  • Have your child record the amount of time spent watching TV vs. the time spent reading throughout the day. Reward them if reading time exceeds TV time.