Child Reading- How I’m Growing a Reader

JDaniel Reading a Book

I need to start by saying that I know that not everyone one that was read to as a child grew up to be a reader.Reading to your child or child reading is so importand and there are many reasons that they may not have grown into be a reader. They could have had reading  or learning challenges. They could have had vision challenges. The list could go on and on, but I do think it is possible to grow a reader. I think I am doing it at my house right now.

Started Reading to Him as a Baby

From JDaniel’s babyhood I read to him. He never wanted to sleep and seemed to be always awake. I sang to him, I bounced him in a boucy seat, and I read to him.  He mostly got to hear the text from picture books and board books. There were times when he got to hear me read the newspaper, cookbooks, magazine articles, and well just about everything I was reading.

He really like to hear the tone of my voice and the inflections I made as I read various texts.

Not only was he hearing what I was reading, but he was seeing both my husband and I holding reading material. From a very early age he saw that reading was important to us.

Books Were Everywhere

When I packed the car for roadtrips, I always packed books. During roadtrips when JDaniel was little I sat in the backseat and read to him. He had favorites like Good Night Moon, but he loved it when I packed new books. He really loved books that had texture like Good Night Moon.

Books went with us to restaurants, doctor’s appointments, and on picnics. They were just a part of what went into his diaper bag.

Visits the Library

Library trips were really important when he was little and still are today. We would go on treasure hunts to find books I thought he would like and then sit among the shelves on the floor and read them.

It was no surprise to me when at just under two JDaniel would crawl over to one of the book baskets spread around the house to pull out a book and look at it.  Literally I had baskets in the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and each bedroom. If I got busy with making a bed or a meal, he just pulled out a book. He got into trouble too, but he loved to look at books.

This past fall on one of our many trips to library I walked JDaniel over to the juvenile non fiction section to show him some animal books. He had never even seen this section before. I was like opening up a treasure chest. There were all kinds of books filled with knowledge on animals, planets, rocks and so much more. He sat himself on the floor and just pulled book after book down to look at it. 

Picture Walking

Another mom was there with her children when we explored the non-fiction section. She looked at her youngest and told her to not bother looking at books in this area.”They are to hard for you,” she announced. I cringed. A child doesn’t have to be able to read every book they select from a shelf and neither does the parent. Sometimes I picture walk JDaniel through a book. We look at the pictures and I read him the captions under them along with the some of the text. JDanel and I talk about what we see in the pictures. Picture walking is vital to reading. Being able to use picture clues to help with text is so important.

Rotating Books

I still read him fiction books. There are important things he can learn from having them read to him and they feed his imagination. Non- fiction books he has declared at real and he really loves real things right now.  I try to rotate the types of books I am reading to him.

Our library bag is usually filled with a little of both I think it is important for him to have new books that are fiction and non-fiction. I also have tons of books from when I was a teacher. I try to rotate in new fiction and non-fiction books regularly that are on his bookshelves and around the house.

Child reading or reading to your child is so important. It was on of the basic keys to learning in my book.

How have  I worked on growing a reader?

  • access to books of all kinds that JDaniel can reach for
  • display that reading is important by reading yourself
  • read regularly at bedtime or other times during the day
  • bring books with you when you leave the house
  • exposed him  to all types of reading material (fiction, non-fiction, atlases, dictionaries, etc..)
  • picture walk through books and talk about what he  saw in  the pictures.
  • seek out books on topics my child is interested in.
This post is linked to Alphabe Thursday.
What are you doing or did you do to grow a reader?

I just found out I was nominated for an award on Circle of Moms. If you have a chance and would like to, please click here and vote for JDaniel4’s Mom.


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  1. says

    Those are fantastic ideas!! We have Good Night Moon and it is a favorite in this house too!

    I somehow miraculously grew a reader out of my 9 year old. As toddlers they NEVER let me read to them. They always pushed me away and wouldn’t sit and wouldn’t have the story time. I was heart broken. I really wanted to have fun story time every night. I started at 6 months old even. And i still couldn’t get them to cooperate.

    They always loved looking at the pictures in books, but once I sat down next to them to share in picture looking, they pushed me away and took off.

    Somehow they miraculously still learned to love books and reading. My 9 year old now gets in trouble for reading all night instead of going to bed. lol. He loves books and reading. It makes me happy, but he still needs to sleep sometime. lol.

    I was lucky. Not everyone is lucky like me where their kids still learn to love reading. Maybe it’s because we always had books all over that they can enjoy. I work at getting books they can enjoy; that fit with their interests. And possibly because they always saw me reading a big book..for long hours at a time. :)

  2. says

    I did the same and my oldest (almost 13) is a voracious reader just like me. He reads so much, it’s hard to keep up with him. My youngest (9) isn’t quite like that despite doing all the same things with her. I’m not sure why, but we’re working on it. She’s a fantastic reader, but she doesn’t turn to it for pleasure the way that I do or my son does. I gave her my old Kindle to read her chapter books on and I think it’s helping to make it more “fun” for her. We also do DARE time ( “Drop Everything And Read”) as a whole family on the weekends for an hour or so each day–where we all sit in the same room and read–and that’s been helpful, too.

  3. says

    I grew 4 readers. Rod grew the other two. How satisfying to know that wherever they are, they can always continue to learn and be entertained.

  4. says

    What a beautiful post – I totally agree with everything you have said!! I teach students who have a disability and I have an absolute passion for teaching Literacy. I drive my class over to our public library once a week to borrow and it is one of their favourite activities. I think particularly of one student who just loves books – and I really means LOVES them. He will borrow one for the week and carry it around with him everywhere he goes, asking everyone he can find to read it over and over and over again to him! He makes me smile so much when I see him carrying his books around everywhere he goes :)

  5. says

    My parents bought my son a bird identification book from the Audubon Society. It’s certainly not something we will ever read cover to cover, but he LOVES looking at the pictures and seeing the differences and similarities in all the different birds. Fiction is fun, but non-fiction and even reference books can be great as well!

  6. says

    Little C loves to read, too. We encourage it as much as we can, although she tends to get obsessed with certain books, which can be tedious for us, on our hundredth reading of The Belly Button Book. Good for you for encouraging your son to be a reader!

  7. says

    Your so right about starting the reading
    experience at an early age and the children
    will love books.. infact books were gifts
    for holidays and not toys, in my house.
    Good post, now if all the parents read
    and live by it..

  8. says

    You are spot on! I love taking my grandchildren now to the library, and every town has their own special things about it, so we make the rounds, and keep making it interesting. They are now learning to check out their own books, and we also rent the books on CD and listen to them while they follow along in the car! Very cool stuff for children!

  9. says

    I think my kids love to read because I love to read. Watching me take such pleasure in it made them want to do the same.

    Of course, I read to them a lot, too.


  10. says

    I love these ideas! I am actually having some trouble because my son is TOO much of a reader (a Kindie reading on a 5th grade level). I can’t find books that interest him but yet aren’t too advanced. But I love having readers in my house.

  11. says

    Great post. As you know, my 6 year old is an avid reader and was reading fluently since she was 3. We did a lot of similar things, but I also exposed her to letters very early. Our nursery was done in alphabet theme, and the only time she had access to the computer is to look at Starfall. Then I started teaching her reading from Progressive Phonics material (it’s a free online course), and she just picked up and ran with it. Now she is reading anything she can lay her hands on but prefers fiction and fantasy (she also really enjoyed non-fiction when she was JD’s age).

  12. says

    You are so on target! I really feel that modeling is key. My 2 year-old now grabs the Kindle and hands it to Daddy when he heads for the bathroom! He also grabs a magazine to look through while having a snack. It’s such a thrill to see him grow as a reader. Heck, I believe so strongly in growing a reader that I named my blog, Growing Book by Book! Thanks for sharing a peek into all the great things your are doing with your son.

  13. says

    I just love the way you tell us about things!

    Growing a reader! What a neat way to phrase that!

    We’re working really hard to grow readers in our Grandlittles. Their Mom and Dad don’t read and don’t like to read. It always warms our heart when we see the girls with their noses buried in books!

    Thanks for sharing this happy post!

    I always love visiting you!



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