How Siblings Can Be Reading Role Models

Discover how siblings can be a great influence on their brothers and sisters when it comes to inspiring a love of reading.

By Jodie Rodriguez
Nov 27, 2017



Nov 27, 2017

Is one of your children a role model to her brother or sister? Leading by example is a great way for one sibling to shine and for the others to emulate good behavior.

Have you ever thought about encouraging your kids to be reading role models? Reading is one of the ways that older siblings can thrive as role models. Plus, it allows them to strengthen their own reading skills in the process.

According to the Scholastic Kids and Reading Family Report, parents are kids' top source of reading encouragement, but siblings can be inspirational too! Here are three activities that brothers and sisters can do together to build reading skills, clock reading hours, and model a love of reading.

1. Reading Aloud to Each Other

When one sibling reads to another, the child reading aloud gets lots of oral practice especially when reading fluently and with expression. Being a fluent reader helps with reading speed and comprehension of the story.

The listening sibling also benefits from hearing book language, which builds his listening vocabulary and strengthens his listening attention. He also has a model for what a fluent reader sounds like when reading.

Of course, there's also the extra parent benefit in that your kids are spending time together peacefully and enjoying books!

2. Partner Reading

Partner reading is a shared reading experience. This is an opportunity for kids to read together.

Encourage your kids to sit side-by-side with a picture book. The bed, couch, or even a big beanbag chair make comfortable partner reading spots. One child can read the left page and the other the right page and continue to alternate back and forth throughout the book.

If your kids are on different reading levels, they could also take turns reading an entire book to each other. This way they can each read a book that feels comfortable to read aloud.

A third way to do partner reading is for siblings to take turns reading to each every other night. Big brother might read aloud on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and little sister on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. All these help avoid putting the responsibility of reading aloud on one sibling.

3. Sibling Book Club

Another fun idea to introduce to your kids is a sibling book club. Encourage them to select a book on a topic they will all enjoy. They might also enjoy a book related to something going on in your family’s life, such as an upcoming trip, getting a pet, or starting a new school. The kids can also take turns picking the book club selection based on their likes, dislikes, and personalities.

You can then let the kids decide if they're going to read aloud to each other or read independently. They can set goals and later discuss what they read. It’s always fun to have a snack on hand for their book clubs to make them extra special.

After they're done, your kids may also enjoy doing a creative project together that relates to the book such as a craft, cooking a recipe, or exploring a new place. We all know that books can take you anywhere.

Try one of these ideas with your kids to help them become reading role models for their siblings. Their confidence and reading competence will soar.

Featured Photo Credit: © Steve Debenport/iStockphoto

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