How to Make Your Kids Not Love Books

5 Nov

I hated to read as a kid and I’m not really sure why. I’d go to the library all of the time but the selection of books didn’t seem all that great. And even though I’d come home with books, the only ones I vividly remember reading were from the Encyclopedia Brown series.

As a mother, and teacher, I was determined to make my kids love reading and I wanted them to learn to read early in their lives. I read to them often as infants and toddlers but when they got to preschool, I was sure I could teach my kids to read before they got to kindergarten. Surely, I thought, that would make them fantastic readers.

WRONG!

My two oldest kids learned to read when they were around four. I was so proud they could read above their age level, sound out long words, they must be BRILLIANT! When they finally went to school, other moms asked how they learned to read before kindergarten. I thought this was my crowning glory.

Unfortunately, by the time my kids were in third grade, most of they other kids caught up and surpassed them in reading. Yes, my kids were reading. Yes, they were sounding out long words, but they didn’t understand a thing they were reading! When my kids were busy reading long words in chapter books, other kids were reading books they could understand and building their comprehension. Instead of creating book lovers, I created kids who disliked reading.

However, when our third child came along, I read to her, let her play with books and allowed her learn to read at her own pace. (I do admit, that I was a little concerned in Kindergarten when she was having trouble with her letter sounds.) Now, she’s ten and her worst punishment is to have her books taken away! She has at least four books going at a time, she reads when she’s supposed to be getting ready for school and she giggles or laughs out loud because she understands the author’s humor. That’s a book lover.

So, I didn’t make my oldest kids passionate readers. They are passionate about other things. But, one day, I know they will pick up a book and discover that they are also passionate book lovers, too.

Tips for teaching your kids to love reading

Download our November Activity Calendar for kids.

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