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Motivating a Child to Read

ORADELL, NJ -- (Marketwired) -- 03/24/14 -- Does your child read only when required? Does he or she push reading aside for other activities (such as video games or social media) or avoid reading altogether? Huntington Learning Center says there are a number of ways parents can encourage their children to read on their own. "Reading is a wonderful pastime, but as children become busier in and outside of school, it is very common to let it slip further down on their list of priority activities," says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. "However, experience has taught us at Huntington that getting a child to read is all about being creative and making it fun." Huntington offers parents several suggestions on how to encourage their child to read:

Make reading part of the family routine. Set aside 30 minutes each evening for family reading time and make it a policy to turn off all TVs, computers and cell phones. Gather in a cozy room where everyone can enjoy the camaraderie. This tradition will have a lasting impact on your child and show that you enjoy making time for reading as well.

Disregard the bedtime rules sometimes. Most children find delight in being allowed to stay up late now and then. Make your child a deal: bedtime can be extended as long as he or she is reading. Certainly, don't overdo it and cause your child to be sleep deprived. However, keep in mind that your goal is to associate reading with fun.

Let your child choose. Choosing your child's books without his or her input does not give him or her the opportunity to explore topics of interest. Instead, reading becomes just one more have-to. Allow your child to pick books he or she wants. If your child struggles to come up with ideas, engage the help of a librarian, who likely has experience with even the most reluctant readers and can steer your child toward high-interest books.

Subscribe to a magazine. For some children, magazines are a less intimidating form of reading material -- and what child doesn't enjoy receiving mail? There are all kinds of children's and teen magazines that combine high-quality content with great pictures and artwork. Again, the objective is to get your child excited to read and to choose to read more often.

Use incentives. Try as you might, your child may not choose reading over other activities. Create an incentive program at home, such as a nightly reading chart and reward milestones. Rewards could be as simple as an outing with a friend (after reading for 20 minutes per day for two weeks, for example) or bigger prizes that take longer to earn.

Reading is an essential life skill that your child must master to do well in school, but it also is an entertaining activity that expands the mind. "At Huntington, we strive to give students the tools and positive reinforcement to be successful readers, but we also know that once students are armed with those skills, they can enjoy reading for the rest of their lives," says Huntington.

For more tips and ideas or to evaluate your child's reading ability (and get help), visit Huntington's Resource Library.

About Huntington
Founded in 1977, Huntington is a pioneer and leader in the tutoring industry. For over 35 years, Huntington has provided quality instruction to hundreds of thousands of students. Huntington prides itself on being "Your Tutoring Solution" for students in all grades and subjects. They tutor in reading, phonics, math and study skills; as well as advanced math and science subjects ranging from algebra through calculus and general science through physics. They also prepare students for state and standardized entrance exams, such as high school entrance exams and the SAT and ACT. Learn more about Huntington at For information on franchise opportunities, visit

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