Published on January 24th, 2013 | by Guest


Five Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read

During the 90’s, it appeared literacy was on the rise. There were these new fangled things called “email” and “The World Wide Web.” And in those halcyon AOL days, it looked like in order to access this new technology writing was required. Those wheezing, low-bandwidth modems didn’t have the electronic plumbing to move much information around, just lovingly crafted words.

Of course technology marches on. The cable companies have come to the rescue and have provided our Internet infrastructure with much more power. So with this wonderful increase in bandwidth, what is the Internet today?


So what to do if you want your child to read? Solid reading skills are very important for your child so it is well worth the extra effort to encourage your child to read. To counteract that overbearing Internet-TV, here are some suggestions:

1. Encourage your child reading with his peers. The Harry Potter series was a gift to parents everywhere. It was a wondrous thing to see millions of kids devoutly reading J.K. Rowling’s books; so much so that Hollywood producers, no stranger to storyline modifications, were forced to follow Ms. Rowland’s plot designs to the letter. Finally, actually helpful peer pressure.

The literary world did not end with Harry Potter. Most likely there is a new book series somewhere that all the kids are talking about it. Use you parental radar to uncover it. Having kids extol the virtues of a recently read book amongst friends is invaluable.

2. Have physical books around the house. If books are as much a part of your life as your computer or television, chances are your kids will use them. Set up a modest library with inexpensive used books and encourage their use. Unlike eBooks (which are wonderful in their own right), books are part of the surroundings and harder to miss. As your child gets older, books will become an obvious and automatic part of his or her life.

3. Set the example and read. I know, it’s been a long day at work staring at computer screens and the thought of looking at more words, even words by your favorite author, is too much to bear. But as all parents know, kids react more to what you do than what you say. So read when you can; your child will notice.

4. Leave books by your child’s bed. Ever notice how checkout lines are flanked by shelves of objects designed for impulse purchases? All the stores know that proximity is a great tool. So while you are standing on that long line, why not just reach out and buy just one more thing? Extend this concept with books. As your child sits in his bed pondering the injustice of going to bed way before the adults do, perhaps those books subtly placed within arm’s reach may peak his interest. He may just reach out and open up a book…

5. Don’t overlook comic books. As a cartoonist, forgive me if I defend a most maligned medium: comic strips. Comic strips are not merely pictures accompanied by words, but words and pictures fused together where each element gains vibrancy as they play off of each other.

That’s why comics are so much fun: there is a ghost in the comic strip. As the reader processes both text and pictures simultaneously, something greater than the sum of words and images emerges. This spirit of joy is contagious and I submit that it will enhance your child’s love of the written word.

Mr. Robert Walters is the creator of The Lunar Antics which can be found at Zeno, Mr. Walters’ creation, also has thoughts of his own including those concerning trillion dollar debt.



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