Advice & Tips: Incorporating Reading Into Everyday Life
It’s hard to find time as a family to sit down and read. Just dealing with every day life — school, work, sports and activities, chores, and friends — can leave barely enough time to get everything done, let alone read a book. However, a busy schedule can include time to read, even if there isn't time to read an entire book. Read on for some tips on sneaking reading into your daily routine.
- If your family eats breakfast at the table, divide up the newspaper so everyone can read their favorite section. If your children are young or find it hard to eat and read, read aloud headlines and stories to them as they munch.
- Many families eat breakfast on the go. If this sounds familiar, then encourage your children to read the back of the cereal box as they pour or the packaging on their food wrappers.
- No matter how your children get to school — on foot, on the bus, or in a car — there are ways to get some quick reading in. Walkers can listen to a chapter of an audio book on a Walkman. Kids who ride the bus or are driven can read a magazine or comic book. This reading can be quick and fun, since kids have little time and a school day to face.
- Serve your children their after-school snacks in a space that’s designated just for reading. Let them choose a light-hearted book, magazine, comic book, or catalogue as they eat and unwind from the school day.
- On the way to sports practice or other after-school activities, read out street signs, billboards, or storefront signs. Or have your child read aloud to you in the car as you drive.
- While cooking dinner, read aloud the recipe. Have your child read a story to you, including ones that he or she has written.
- As dinner cooks, sit down and read a chapter of a book together. While you’re adding ingredients or setting the table, begin telling a story together, taking turns adding the next part.
Movies and TV time
- Before turning on the TV or a video game, spend 15 minutes reading together. This could be something short or a chapter of a longer book that you read everyday. Continuing stories could keep kids interested day-to-day.
- Mute the TV during commercials and read short snippets of articles or comic books until the show comes back on.
- Buy or borrow books on video games tips or tricks. Have your child read it for 10 minutes before starting a video game.
- If your TV allows for closed-captioning, turn it on and encourage your children to read along with the text.
- When you get a movie a few minutes early, read aloud the ads that show up on the screen before the previews. Have your child read to you as much of the ad as possible before the next one shows up.
- After dinner, take your dessert into another room and read aloud. This can become an after-dinner ritual for the family.
- Too tired to read aloud? Then get the family together in the living room and put on a book-on-tape for 15 minutes.
- After an intense homework session, take 10 minutes to read a silly humor book or comic book.
- Read aloud in the bath — either you or your children can do the reading.
- Turn off the TV a half-hour early and read one chapter of a book.