Reading: Ideas to Encourage Your Students

Feb 01, 2022 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

As Andrew Pudewa explains in his presentation Cultivating Language Arts: Preschool through High School, there are four arts that combine to build strong thinkers and communicators: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Because February marks National Library Lovers’ Month, we wanted to take this opportunity to examine the art of reading. How do we as parents and educators inculcate a love for reading in our students? Read this post to learn more about how we can help students discover the joy of reading. Toward the end of the blog post, we are also offering a drawing for one of five copies of Timeline of Classics.

While it is important to model enjoying personal reading, do not discontinue reading aloud to your children regardless of their age. Andrew has stated, “One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents is that we tend to stop reading out loud to children at the age at which they’re able to read more independently … It is at the age that children start reading on their own when they most benefit from being read to at a level above their decoding skills.” Enjoying books together strengthens the family relationship and provides a shared family experience. It also bolsters a student’s comprehension by building vocabulary and syntax. Andrew Pudewa shares more about the critical importance of incorporating reading aloud as a regular activity in his talk “Nurturing Competent Communicators.” If you are looking for some great read-aloud book suggestions, our good friend Sarah Mackenzie has a handy online book suggestion generator that you can find here.

Another important way you can interest your students in reading is by modeling reading as a part of your own daily routine. When your children see that you consistently prioritize personal reading, they are more likely to do the same. To that end, be sure that you read a book in a place where your children can see you. Showing your children that you value your reading time speaks volumes versus simply cajoling your children to begin their own reading.

Designating an inviting space in which to read is another fun way to encourage even more reading. Cozy reading nooks tucked in out-of-the-way corners with fluffy pillows and a nearby shelf or basket of books make for inviting spaces for curling up for some treasured reading time. Paging through Pinterest, you can find lots of styling ideas to suit a wide variety of homes, spaces, and budgets.

Regardless of your own personal library’s merits, you and your children will likely enjoy a visit to the local library as well. Libraries offer so much more than books. They frequently also lend music CDs, movies, games, and equipment. Libraries also provide meeting space for various clubs, such as chess clubs, book clubs, and knitting clubs. If you are stymied for what books to check out, bring along a copy of IEW’s Timeline of Classics, which is packed with fabulous book suggestions for a wide range of reading abilities. You will be able to select from the list of classic books that cover the wide breadth of human history. The books are all arranged in chronological order, making it easy to locate a volume in the time period you wish and at the appropriate reading level. This helpful resource also includes a section on how to do reader response journaling as well as a section on how to include vocabulary study. Included with the hard copy is a code for a free downloadable PDF of the entire book. Some families print a copy for each child, allowing them to highlight the books they read throughout their school years. What a wonderful heirloom!

In honor of National Library Lovers’ Month, we are holding a drawing where you can win one of five copies of Timeline of Classics. To enter the contest, click here. Names will be drawn February 28.

If you would like to garner even more ideas about how to encourage your students to read, check out these podcasts and blog posts:

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