Reading is the Gateway to Learning: Here’s how to get your child interested in reading.

Incorporate these reading tips into your routine, and you’ll be on your way to fostering a love of reading in your child.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 18, 2022

Learning to read is foundational to every educational experience. A child who develops a love of reading from a young age will be able to tackle whatever subject they want. Yet not all kids dive head first into books. For every three-year-old toddling around quoting Dr. Seuss, there’s no shortage of older kids who clench their teeth every time someone suggests it’s reading time.

The reasons for this reluctance vary. Some little ones struggle with phonics because of Dyslexia or ADHD, while others just need a little more time to be developmentally ready. Others may associate reading with tedious early readers or simply have yet to find the spark that sets their imagination on fire.

If your child is struggling to become an enthusiastic reader, you’ll want to get personalized advice from as many expert adults as possible — ideally who know your child and their situation, whether it’s their classroom teacher, tutors, other family members or caregivers. But these are some common ways we find can help kids get over the typical obstacles to developing a love of reading.


Let them choose their own books

The only way a child will put in the hours necessary to become a strong reader is if they want to read. Follow your child’s interest from an early age, and it won’t be such a strain to convince them to pick up a book.

Thanks to the renaissance in children’s books over the past few decades, there are more choices than ever for getting a child reading — happily. Comic books and graphic novels have become a resource: they engage kids with visuals along with words, provide a point of entry into important subjects kids grapple with, and excite the imagination, all while getting children comfortable with spending time poring over pages.

Think outside the box, and invite your child who loves baking to read cookbooks, or give instruction manuals to your child who loves to build. Help them discover that they can read for pleasure and use it as a tool to get them where they need to go.

Make sure they’re at the right level

In addition to their free choice reading materials, kids should be guided towards books at — or even slightly above — their reading level. Don’t just go by your child’s age: There are several different free testing options available to get a sense of their level, including the lite version of easycbm.com and freckle.com.

If your child isn’t showing interest in reading, it could be because of a mismatch: either struggling to read above their level or not being stimulated by books below their level. Resist the urge to push them straight into Harry Potter if they aren’t ready for chapter books.

But by the same token, don’t worry if an older child still likes picture books that seem too young; just also get them to try out books that push them to learn new words and grow as a reader.

Read aloud to them (and ask them to read to you)

Bedtime stories aren’t just for young children. Older kids can also benefit from a reading bedtime ritual — a great way to bond with your child and wind down the day. For kids who are really resistant to reading, this could be a perfect time to let them relax and hear a story without any expectation that they read along.

But if they’re up for a little challenge (and aren’t too sleepy), you can use bedtime reading as an opportunity to get them to read aloud to you, maybe by alternating pages or having them read the first sentence of every chapter. As they read to you, keep corrections to a minimum, so you both can focus on the pleasure of the story, and make sure to celebrate their effort when they’re done.

Again, don’t forget to let them pick the book every night!

Schedule regular reading time (and then join in)

Sometimes all a reluctant reader needs is a schedule. Set the expectation that they read books  at a certain time of day, every day, even if it’s initially for a very short period. Like any habit, reading habits can be built slowly. Consistency is key!

It might also help if they use you as a reading role model: If you’ve been meaning to make more time for reading yourself, try creating family reading time when everyone gathers in the same room, reads a book of their choice and then shares what they’ve read.

Incorporate a regular outing to the local library to make the ritual more dynamic: get them a library card, have them check out their own new books, and you’ll be more likely to get their buy in.


Lean on technology (wisely)

With all the influx of technology into our daily routine, it can be easy to create oppositions between reading and screens. But technology has a role to play in building readers; like it or not, our children are digital natives, and they’ll learn to read in a different way than we did. Technology can be a force for good in helping them love reading, for example:

  • Let them listen to audiobooks (in addition to reading physical books). Even if they aren’t doing the work of decoding, listening to books familiarizes them with storytelling, builds their vocabulary, and excites their imagination. Just ask them to read along with a copy of the book as they listen (at least some of the time) so they can build their reading skills as well.
  • For young readers who need a foundation in phonics, there are high-quality AI apps that listen to children reading books aloud, coaching them through any challenging words, and cheering them on when they get it right.
  • For kids with an interest in real life current events who aren’t quite ready for the New York Times, a service like Newsela provides access to news stories at a range of reading levels. Make reading the news together one of your family activities!

More from our blog

‘Learning styles’ are a myth — but all students can benefit from the characteristics of a visual learner.

Although no studies link these popular labels to academic achievement, here’s how visual learning helps everyone.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 24, 2022

Is Discord Safe for Kids?

Here’s what parents need to know about the free, popular chat app.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 22, 2022

Holiday, winter and Christmas art projects for kids

Ready to Deck the Halls? Here are projects to engage kids of all ages—and tackle your seasonal shopping with DIY keepsakes.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 16, 2022

What is the Socratic Method for Kids?

More than just asking questions in the classroom, the Socratic Method helps learners test their own ideas in a real-life context.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 10, 2022

What is the best homeschool curriculum?

Here are some guidelines to help sift through the infinite options.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 8, 2022

What is self-directed learning — and what are the benefits?

When students set the conditions of their learning experience, they show more creativity, passion and sticktuitiveness.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 3, 2022

How is Minecraft Educational?

With built-in lesson plans, educational tools, and endless problem-solving opportunities, Minecraft: Education Edition can help motivate kids in coding, science, language arts, and more.

Prisma Staff
• 
November 1, 2022

Stuffed with stuffing? Step away from the casserole and try these Thanksgiving art projects for kids of all ages.

Get into the spirit of gratitude with these easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 27, 2022

Gratitude is one of the prime ingredients of happiness. Here’s how to teach kids to be grateful.

Teach children gratitude and they’ll experience better mental health, well being and social connection.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 25, 2022

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can make reading comprehension a struggle. Here’s how to help a child with ADHD learn to read.

8 tips to ensure learning disabilities don’t get in the way of building reading skills.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 20, 2022

Bored Students Don’t Thrive. Here’s How to Get Your Child Interested in School.

Why does your child dread Mondays? Once you know, take these steps to help them (re)discover their spark.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 18, 2022

Here’s how to prevent bullying in school - and what to do if it happens.

To stop bullying behavior, educate yourselves and your children.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 13, 2022

Why do kids get bullied at school — and why do kids bully others?

Bullying is about a power dynamic between peers. To interrupt it, first understand why it happens.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 11, 2022

How to build confidence in kids

Children’s Mental Health is in Crisis. Here’s How to Help Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 6, 2022

What is twice exceptional - and how can homeschooling help?

To reach their high potential, twice-exceptional children benefit from a flexible learning environment.

Prisma Staff
• 
October 4, 2022

Halloween art projects for kids

The holiday season is the time to get your hands dirty with these Halloween craft ideas - candy corn optional.

Prisma Staff
• 
September 29, 2022

How to help a child with dyslexia at home

Dyslexic kids often lose their love of learning. Here’s how parents can help them rediscover it.

Prisma Staff
• 
September 27, 2022

How to support your LGBTQ child

The challenges of adolescence can be magnified for LGBTQ kids. Here’s how to help them thrive.

Prisma Staff
• 
September 22, 2022

What challenges do LGBTQ students face?

From bullying to finding a safe bathroom, LGBTQ students navigate a tough landscape at school.

Prisma Staff
• 
September 20, 2022

How to Make Learning Fun

What we know about the relationship between ‘hard fun’ and learning. (Hint: It’s not about playing games in between worksheets.)

Prisma Staff
• 
September 15, 2022

Want to raise successful kids?

Here’s what we mean by ‘success’ at Prisma - and how we use it to help kids thrive.

Prisma Staff
• 
September 13, 2022

Homeschooling Socialization Guide

What parents need to know about socialization in—and out of—the classroom to help your homeschooler thrive.

Prisma Staff
• 
August 16, 2022

How to start your own business as a kid

Child entrepreneurship is trending. Here are three steps to developing an innovative business that stands out from the crowd.

Prisma staff
• 
August 4, 2022

What is project based learning?

A hands-on approach to develop real-world skills, resiliency and a love of learning — here’s how we practice it at Prisma.

Prisma Staff
• 
August 2, 2022

Writer + Programmer = Calliope Ghostwriting

A Shared Name and Diverse Strengths Led Two Bens to Build an AI Writing Business.

Prisma staff
• 
July 7, 2022

Alternatives to School

When traditional public school isn’t the best option, consider these alternatives.

Prisma Staff
• 
July 1, 2022

How to Develop a Growth Mindset for Kids

Five ways parents can help their kids see themselves as a work in progress.

• 
June 22, 2022

Top 7 tips how to recover from gifted kid burnout

Gifted kids face unique challenges when it comes to burnout. Here’s how parents can help.

Prisma staff
• 
June 21, 2022

What is worldschooling?

For travel-hungry families dreaming of school vacation, there’s much to celebrate about shifts in the way we live, work and educate our children.

Prisma staff
• 
June 16, 2022

How to start homeschooling

To create a customized education for your child takes more than a checklist. This three-stage framework can help you get started.

• 
June 14, 2022

Pros and cons of homeschooling

If you’re homeschool-curious, here’s what 100 families have to say about the biggest advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling.

Prisma staff
• 
June 10, 2022

How does Homeschooling Work in the Modern Era?

With homeschooling, the sky’s the limit – and there’s a lot on your plate. Learn about how to make this growing trend work for your family.

Prisma Staff
• 
June 9, 2022

Building Healthy Screen Time Habits: What Prisma Kids Say

Learning how to use the internet safely, smartly, and creatively is one of the most essential skills for success in our hyper-connected world. Prisma learners just wrapped up their Cyber Citizens learning

• 
April 2, 2021

Introducing Prisma LIVE

A live learning platform purpose-built for kids. It's a new, fun and engaging way for kids to learn and collaborate together virtually.

• 
March 19, 2021

Connected learning for a connected age

Technology has completely revolutionized how we shop, communicate, entertain ourselves, and even how we work, but no such revolution has happened in education.

• 
March 5, 2021

Prisma: a first retrospective

We’ve officially wrapped up our first ever fall session at Prisma and are excited to share our learnings and observations with you.

Victoria Ransom
• 
December 17, 2020

Meet Claire Cummings

Claire Cummings is one of our new Learning Coaches joining us for Winter Session starting in January 2021. Claire is based in Detroit, Michigan!

• 
December 7, 2020

Meet Leena Williams

In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the innovative thinkers behind Prisma.Next up is Leena Williams, the Founding Learning Coach for Prisma based in Tampa, Florida.

• 
July 28, 2020

Join Prisma from anywhere in the USA this fall

Starting today, families can apply to join Prisma from anywhere in the USA. Here’s how it will work. You can still apply to any of our five founding cohort hubs (Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, or Tampa) if you live nearby.

• 
July 27, 2020

Meet Emily Veno

In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the innovative thinkers behind Prisma. Next up is Emily Veno, one of two founding learning experience designers for Prisma.

• 
July 23, 2020

A Stress-free switch to learning from home this fall

Over the past week, as millions of parents have realized that traditional in-person schooling may not be safe or available come September, a new twist on an old phenomenon has emerged.

• 
July 22, 2020

Meet Kristen Shroff

We're kicking off a "Meet the team" blog series. First up is Kristen Shroff, one of two Founding Learning Experience Designers at Prisma. As a Learning Experience Designer, Kristen has been working on dreaming up the Prisma calendar and schedule, developing the curriculum for Knowledge and Worldview Badges, and hiring our first group of learning coaches.

• 
July 22, 2020

Be a founding family!

We're excited to announce the rollout of Prisma cohorts in 5 US cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Salt Lake City.

• 
July 17, 2020

Introducing Prisma

We’re Prisma, and today we’re announcing the world’s first Connected Learning Network, a whole new category in education. We’re not a school in the conventional sense; we’re a locally-rooted, globally connected at-home learning network that gives kids the tools to live their optimal life, starting today.

Victoria Ransom & Alain Chuard
• 
June 24, 2020

Prismarian Asher Nelson Rhymes His Way to Victory

First-time Poet Wins “Games for Change Student Challenge” with “Poem of PvZ”.

•