Even when your child is old enough to read by themselves, it’s important to keep reading with them. You could read a bigger and more complex book with them on the weekend, while they'll read simpler books during the week, on their own. You could also decide to take turns reading sentences, pages or chapters. It’s a nice way to spend quality time with your child. Too many parents stop reading their kids a bedtime story as soon as their ability to read develops. Children still need support and assistance to make a smooth transition between baby books and small novels about subjects that interest them. This way, you’ll stay connected with your child’s interests and be able to talk to him about them.
Keep a reading journal
A simple notebook will do for a personal reading journal. You and your child could write down your thoughts and opinions about what you read, or simply draw a particular scene from the book. It’s a great way to remember everything you’ve read together, and see how you both understood it from your own perspectives. You can also explain particular scenes or words to your child if they are difficult to understand.
Fun activities at the library
Watch for all activities taking place at your local library and participate! It’s sometimes a creative workshop for comic books, story time followed by arts and crafts, invent a play, etc. And while you’re there, why not wander in the alleys and find new books to bring back home.
Share a blog
Create a blog where you’ll talk about your recent and future readings. You could do the traditional reading journal, but in this “dot com era”, going online is tempting!
Reading is also writing, so why not correspond with your child? Before they go to bed, let them write you a message in a notebook about whatever they want, or even ask you questions. Once they're asleep, read the message and answer it. They'll be happy to read what you had to say when they wake up the next morning. In addition to encouraging reading and writing, it’s a new way to communicate between you two. It’s sometimes easier to confide in someone by writing.
Read in public
Where do you usually read? In your bedroom, lounge or bathroom? Reading a lot at home is great, but it’s also interesting to go to a public place to do it. Reading in a cafe with a hot drink in front of us is so relaxing. Make it a ritual after a day of shopping or after an extracurricular activity.
Visit book fairs
Take the entire family to a book fair. Plan a small budget so that each member of the family can leave with a new book in their hands. There is always a lot of animation for kids and teens, and you can meet authors at their editing house’s booth. Encourage your children to ask their favourite authors questions about the books they’ve written. Grab some bookmarks or posters of your kids’ favourite books. You can also ask editors to give you their catalog: it’s a great way to find your future readings.
Movie vs book
Tell your kids that a lot of their favorite movies were based on a book. Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice, The Jungle Book, and so many more! Find the original book version of famous Disney tales and compare them with the movies with your children.
Write to an author
Many authors have a website or are members of literary associations. A simple Google search will allow your child to find their favorite author’s email. Encourage your little one to write to these authors, and they could get an answer or be referred to a personal website. It’s a great way to see that there are people behind the books! It could also encourage your child to read everything that author has ever written!
Start a little book club with friends. It could be for mothers and daughters, fathers and sons or anything else you desire. Decide on a book every month and set a date for everyone to get together and talk about the book. Name a different “master of ceremony” every month, who will be responsible for finding interesting information about the book and the author, and even prepare a few dicussion questions.