Reading is a cornerstone of any education and is one of the things that enriches many people’s lives, but it’s not something kids and teens always want to do. Between the plethora of activities that electronic devices offer, playing sports, joining clubs, and socializing, reading just gets put on the back burner as kids get older. Intervening during the middle school and high school years can make a big difference in kids’ relationship with reading and instilling good reading habits. Here are three ways you can do it.
Studies show that kids are more likely to read if their parents read. Applying this and turning it into a team activity not only creates a bonding opportunity for you and your child, but it also encourages them to read. Choose a book together and read the same portions individually — fantasy books for middle school students and high school students are pretty popular. Then get together and talk about what you’ve read. Only half of teens describe their friends as readers and talk about books with them. Engage in a good discussion about different parts of the book and the messages it’s sending.
2. Read Aloud Together
This one might seem a little silly, but reading out loud to kids is important for helping them love reading. Studies show that the average time parents spend reading to their children is actually dropping — from 45 minutes each day in 1999 to just 30 minutes in 2013. Find something that lends itself to being read out loud like poetry or a good play. Novels do work for this purpose too, but that may get to be time consuming.
3. Recommend and Give Books
This is a really easy way to get involved in your teen’s reading habits. Over 74% of teens have had an adult in their lives recommend self-improvement or leadership books in the last year. The best books for middle school students and high school students will pique their interest while still offering an underlying important message, and recommending one or buying one for your teen is the perfect way to expose them to self-improvement and other books that will shape their young minds.
Do you do any of these activities with your teen? Feel free to share your experience with us or any other tips you have in the comments section below.