According to the 2008 Kids & Family Reading Report, parents who read often are six times more likely to have children who read often. This tells us that we don't just need to read to our kids, but that we need to read a lot and for our kids to see us reading.
Here are some easy ways to make your own reading a priority and become a better reading role model for your children:
Find something you'll love. If you aren't a big reader yourself, examine why. If it's because you haven't found books that appeal to you, then go to the library and ask for help from a librarian to find books you enjoy. Remember, reading for pleasure doesn't have to mean fiction. Non-fiction, magazines, and even reference books are all great choices. The goal is to show your kids you love to read, so find something you love.
Go to the library. Take your kids to the library and, after you hit the kid's section, make it a habit to go grab a book or two for yourself.
Check in with each other. Have family book reports. This sounds daunting but, much like the ones I threw together on the bus ride to school (sorry Mrs. Baker!), these book reports don't have to be long or in-depth. Share the title and author, some basic plot, and your opinion.
Don't forget about magazines. Subscribe to a magazine for yourself and your child. My son and husband share a subscription to Sports Illustrated and they love to read articles together.
- Make reading a family event. Have family reading time. Much like the popular family movie night, choose a time on a weekend for everyone to grab a book (or magazine, newspaper, etc.), pile on a bed or couch, and read together. If your kids are not reading independently yet, let your children "read the pictures" for half the time while you read your own material and then read together for the other half.
You are already a role model for your child. And now, with these easy-to-implement activities, you can be a great reading role model for them as well.