Want to know one of the best ways to get kids to read for fun? Follow their lead! Kids will be more invested in and work harder at reading books that are of interest to them. They will always have assigned reading for school and such, so when they’re reading for fun, it helps to let them read what they want as much as possible.
A 2016 study by Scholastic Publishing Company, opens a new window showed that 89% of kids agreed with the statement “my favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself”. The same study also showed that 88% of kids were more likely to finish a book they had picked out themselves. This may mean that when they’re reading for fun, they might sometimes read things that are below their current reading level, and that’s OK! They’re still practicing the skills they need to become more skilled and fluent readers. If kids choose something that they’re very excited about but is too much of a challenge for them to read independently, consider reading it aloud to them. Even after kids have learned how to read on their own, there are many benefits, opens a new window from listening to someone reading aloud that will help kids to become better readers themselves.
And as always, if you’re stuck, stop by the library! Helping kids find books to love is one of the best parts of our job. Anytime kids associate books and reading with enjoyment is a “win” in our eyes.