Hooray for back to school! Whether or not your little one has reading “homework” each night or not, it’s important to establish good reading habits. Reading at home can be challenging – finding the right time, space, and books can take some effort. Here are three ways you can create an at home reading program that your family will not only stick to, they will enjoy too!
Create a Chart
Silly as it may sound, something as simple as a sticker can be very motivating to a preschooler! Create a chart to track your child’s progress. It doesn’t have to be fancy – even just collecting a sticker per book on a piece of paper works! Make a goal for the day, the week, the month and keep track. Be sure to celebrate! Take into account all the stickers your child has earned and be sure to point out their hard work.
Get your child involved by letting them choose the stickers, have them put the stickers on the chart, choose the books, etc. The more control they have, the more likely they will be to enjoy the process!
Make a Reward System
Using your reading chart, use a system such as 1 sticker per book, 5 stickers equals a small treat such as a cookie, a dollar, or any other small token that would be motivating. Small, short goals are a great way to start so that little bodies don’t get overwhelmed. Once small goals are achieved easily, move the goal up to keep your child challenged. Include your child in goal setting – ask them how many books they think they can read in a time frame, or how many books they want to be able to read in a given amount of time.
All Hands on Deck
Our children learn by our example, so why not set up a family reading time? Start with a short amount of time, even 15 minutes works. Everyone grab their favorite book and start reading! Make it fun by snuggling up with pillows on the floor, everyone choosing their own “nook” or head outdoors instead. Grab a snack and a drink before you start so rumbling tummies don’t disrupt your time. Try reading one book to your child and then have them quietly “read” a book to themselves. Even just spending time looking at books helps boost confidence. Have your child tell you what they think the book is about based on what words they know and what pictures they see.
Need more ideas on getting into a routine? Check out our post on establishing helpful back to school routines here.