Reading for Fun

We require our children to read all school year long.  They read for science and social studies; they read the required stories for reading class.  But do we give our children the chance to read for pleasure?  There are several reasons why we should let our children read just for fun.

Reading for Fun Develops their Reading Personality

When you let your child read for fun, it gives them a chance to figure out what genres and types of books they like.  At school, children are usually assigned books to read based either on what the teacher is interested in or what the curriculum lists.  If you want you child to be a lifelong reader, it is important that he decides for himself what books he like to read.

Reading for Fun Builds Stamina

When a child is given the opportunity to read just because they want to, they tend to build reading stamina.  Reading stamina is the ability to read for longer and longer periods of time.  To be a good reader, a child must be able to read intently for longer than 5 or 10 minutes.  Letting them have time to read for fun helps them have the desire and willpower to read for longer times.

Reading for Fun is Not Always Quality

When you turn your child loose in a library or let them pick whatever book they want from a bookstore, you may find that they don’t choose the types of books that you would like.  Their book choice may not be on the approved summer reading list.  Instead, they may pick a graphic novel or even a kids magazine.  Don’t discourage them in their book choices unless they go against the standards you have set for them.  Any reading can be productive and helpful when your child is enjoying the book.

Reading for Fun Is Rewarding

When a child learns that reading is fun, reading becomes its own reward.  Instead of having to bribe your child to read, you will find them reading on their own.  (In fact you may find yourself having to tell them to put the book down to get them to come to supper or at bedtime.)

So this summer, give your children the chance to choose their own books.  Take them to your local library and let them take home whatever books they choose.  It’s fine if they don’t finish every book they pick out.  Remember, they are discovering what they do and do not like so they may not enjoy every book they choose.  But at least they are reading, and hopefully they will quickly learn that reading for fun is the best kind of reading!

Do you let your children choose their own books to read?

Photo by: KOMUnews


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