Yet too many kids today spend almost no time reading outside of school. They’re not only missing out on the worlds they can explore through books, they are making school more difficult than it needs to be. Kids who read regularly do better in school than kids who don’t.

Telling a child he should read because it’s good for him is probably not the best way to get him to pick up a book. Here are some better ways to motivate your child to read:

Let him sleep on it. Set bedtime a little earlier. But allow your child to keep the light on as long as he is reading. After a long day, odds are he’ll go to sleep pretty quickly anyway.

Make a comfortable place for your child to read. Some kids like beanbag chairs. Others like a hammock. Still others want to build a nest of pillows on the floor. Help your child create a special reading nook just for him.

Make reading a fun family affair. On a Friday night, take the whole family to a bookstore to browse. Or visit the library on Saturday before going out for ice cream.

Plan regular family reading times. Kids are never too old for reading aloud. So turn off the TV and read a favorite book together. Or plan a special night when you all take turns reading a favorite book aloud or sharing interesting news stories. Serve a favorite snack and discuss what you’ve read.

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