Creating a Healthy Reading Environment at Home

ReadingthuRsday-R2Growing up I was a big fan of Sweet Valley High reading collection. These books were hand-me-downs from my cousin. Oh! How she loved reading! Of course as the younger cousin, I wanted to do what she was doing, I wanted to read what she was reading. Although, she had to read the book first before sharing with me, it was almost torture because I treasured reading. It took a couple before she could finish them, and I waited eagerly and – in some aspect, I learned to be patient. However, when it was my turn I read till my heart’s content into the wee hours of the night, sitting near the oil lamps, because we had no electricity at the time…10_sweetvalleyhigh_lg

Growing up on the reservation had its perks, however having access to a library was not one of them, and getting our hands on a book was intermittent. I grew up with limited resources, and I didn’t want that for my children. I wanted to make sure that my children grew up in a literature-rich environment. I believe that children who are exposed to books from a very young age grow up loving books. Some suggestions to creating a healthy reading environment at home:

  • reading3Creating a reading environment starts by having a good supply of reading materials such as magazines, comic books, chapter books, newspapers, and catalogs. Often, I swing by the library and help myself to the free books; I also go to yard sells to buy books. It is essential that reading becomes a natural part of everyday life. Creating a place in the home for a family library is a great way to encourage reading. Providing adequate lighting and comfortable furniture, this space could also be used for homework time. I found that choosing a variety of books is also a fun creative way to encourage reading at home.
  • Children mimic their parents; their lifelong habits are usually formed from watching others. Therefore why not have them see their parents reading? Taking time to read together as a family is important. For the parent it may seem as though the book is being read for the umpteenth time – to the child that moment is important. The time together forms a bond and shared experience. I, personally, view reading children’s book as a great way to escape from the daily commands of reading text books and academic related material. It reminds me that there is still joy in reading.caught_in_bed_reading
  • Other techniques I suggest in making a healthy reading environment home include creating personal libraries for each individual. As parents we want to understand our children’s interests and validate them. Create a place on the bookshelf that belongs to them. Lastly, limit other mediums, such as televisions, computers, video games, and cellphones! There is something about holding a book in your hand, flipping through pages, and smelling paper. For, one of these days, books may become obsolete. Till then happy reading!



4 comments on “Creating a Healthy Reading Environment at Home

  1. Brian Coatney says:

    This brings back so many memories of when our two boys were growing up. My wife did those same things and led the way for us. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but it was the perfect combination of nurturing,setting, and reading.

    • I have to admit there are times ‘Cinderella’ gets boring but the time together means so much. I am so engulfed with my own reading I often forget there are so many books out there that are fun to read!

  2. kencasey99 says:

    I’m with you Tina on the joys of reading children’s books. Recently I have been reading the Fairy Tales of George MacDonald–he writes for both children and adults in the same book. I commend his book At the Back of the North Wind.

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