Raising Readers in a Technological Era

From the time our children were babies we read to them a lot, identifying pictures in books. Building their vocabulary, along with a love of books, one word at a time. And it paid off! Our daughter could already say many words at 9 months. And by age one, she spoke in complete sentences! Our son, also an early starter, was only a bit behind his sister.

As they grew, the books grew in length and so did our reading time. We homeschooled, and I read aloud to the family every day after lunch. And we would often find them curled up somewhere with a book.

We traveled the world through reading the classics. Like Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson, The Railway Children. and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books.

And we laughed and cried through our favorite series. Like Tales from Grandma’s Attic, Anne of Green Gables, and the Louisa May Alcott books. I remember them crying as Pa from The Little House on the Prairie, walked in broken boots to find work.

They were learning to immerse themselves in stories. And we were creating significant bonds.

Benefits of reading:

11 benefits this wholesome activity can offer your kids:

  1. Better language skills
  2. Greater logic and improved concentration
  3. More imagination, curiosity, and creativity
  4. Enhanced listening and social skills
  5. A thirst for knowledge
  6. An enhanced appreciation for books and stories
  7. Broadened horizons and increased understanding of the world
  8. An increased ability to distinguish between real and make-believe
  9. Enhanced capacity to understand challenging or scary events, and accept change
  10. Competence in schoolwork
  11. It may also serve to encourage them to read God’s word

And most of all, because kids who love reading are more likely to love knowledge and the written word.

Friends often questioned how we got our kids to read so much. But I don’t think we could have stopped them had we tried! They loved it!

But if getting kids to read was difficult back then, it’s an even greater challenge now with so many electronic distractions! So I’d like to share some tried and proven, timeless tips on how to raise readers — even in our technological era!

7 timeless tips for raising avid readers:

1. Start young

Children have an innate hunger for knowledge and learning. And books, even picture books, can open that new and wonderful world to them. Feed that appetite by reading to them, even as infants. (But if you didn’t start so young, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start!)

2. Children learn by example

Kids love to “do like big people.” If the adults in their lives love reading, chances are it will rub off on them!

3. Limit screen time and make it your ally

Screen time can be harmful, so it’s wise to limit it. Or provide them with plenty of ebooks and kindle books so they’ll use their devices for reading!

4. Make reading a special treat

Our weekly library trip became a special event. It was like making new friends or revisiting old ones! But we added special treats too. Doughnuts, ice cream, a visit to the park, or lunch out!

5. Supply reading material

There’s something enticing about an unopened, never-read book! What’s it about? Where will it take me? But you can’t expect kids to read if there’s nothing interesting to read. Keep adding to your library!

6. Make it a family activity

Children also have an intense desire for family time. Family activities help them feel that they are a necessary and wanted part of the family.

We continued our family reading time into our kids’ teen years and they loved it! I rotated dish chores with them, but I usually got out of mine because they preferred hearing another chapter! 😉

We continued family reading time into our kids’ teen years. And they loved it so much they would request a second chapter!

7. Teach them that great books are lifelong friends

Friends they can visit again and again. Because a truly great book never grows old. Its meaning only grows richer with the passing years.

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.

Robertson Davies

Images: Girl reading by 512893 | Small child with books age by Lina Kivaka | Graphic made on Canva.

8 thoughts on “Raising Readers in a Technological Era

  1. All three of our granddaughters love books, thanks in large part to their parents who put a high premium on reading. It’s one of life’s great pleasures to snuggle up with a child and read. Now that they’re older, we can discuss books too–the characters’ attributes and motivations, plot twists we didn’t expect, and takeaways that stories provide. So much pleasure to be gained through books!


    1. Yes indeed, Nancy. Books are a great treasure and pleasure. Both reading them to the kids – and just curling up with one all on our own. They really do remain lifelong friends!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful message! I enjoy reading my books for children to our grandchildren and the neighborhood children. I read the stories to preschools, too. Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator are big hits with young and old. 🙂


    1. That’s fantastic, Mimi! Books are such a delight and can bring so much knowledge and growth. I’m glad your books are doing well!! What a blessing for the kids you know and others too!! May Licky and Grumpy travel the world round to enrich the lives of children everywhere!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I heartily agree! Books are vessels of adventure, paths toward unknown journeys, introductions to new and different friends. Reading was an escape for me–and it has become a place of understanding and growth for my kids and grandkids. Our imaginations are piqued by what we read, and what we don’t see in a picture, our minds conjure up in satisfying ways. Thanks for this, Sheila!


    1. Oh yes, Dayle! Oh the things we and learn see, the adventures we have, the trips we take…and all with nothing more than a book in our hands!! I hope we can pass this love on to future generations!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Simple but effective steps to help children realize the love of reading. I like the ‘Lead by Example’ way to encourage the children read.


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