The No.1 Way To Excite Children About Reading

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Do you want your kid to love reading and learning?

Ahhh, yes.... the ultimate parental fantasy!

Your reasons don't really matter.

Some parents want their kids to read more in order to keep up their test scores in school.

Others simply want their children to spend their time more productively (or to leave that video game console alone!)

There is a reason why you want your little pumpkins to read more and any reason that you just thought of - is a good reason in my book.

Kids reading = Kids learning.

It is true.

But if your kids are not reading or they do not love books, we need to address this problem.

All You Need Is Love

      There's nothing you can do that can't be done
      The Beatles

Have you heard of the 10,000 hour rule?

If you invest 10,000 hours of practice into something (violin practice, language learning, drawing, skateboarding, etc.), you will cross the threshold that will make you an expert in that certain discipline.

It's a simplified version of the "deliberate practice" philosophy that was proposed by Swedish scientist Anders Ericsson.

Simply put, he claims that being excellent at something isn’t easy.

But it is a lot more simple than you might be led to believe.

His basic position is that there's probably no such thing as innate talent or, if there is, it is highly overrated.

Anders Ericsson published some exciting research in the last decade of the 20th century.

He and his fellow scientists split student violinists into three categories ranked by excellence at the Berlin Music Academy and then correlated hours of practice with achievement.

In Ericsson's own words: "I went to Berlin in 1987 for two years and did research on violinists. At the time, people thought that the really top violinists would be training less than the less accomplished at that academy because they had this natural talent."

Yet, what they ended up uncovering was much more fascinating.

Simply put, all students who found themselves among the best of the best had put in about 10000 hours of practice, the good musicians put in 8000 hours and the average ones just 4000 hours.

The rule held solid and no one had fast-tracked. After applying this rule to other disciplines Ericsson and his team were surprised to find that it also proved valid.

What does this have to do with you, with your kids and reading - you ask?

Good question!

Let me put it this way (an idea put forward by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Outliers: The Story of Success):

The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000-Hour Rule.

" by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, 'they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'"

Yes, parents...

For excellence in reading ... all you need is ... reading.

Banal? Or is it?

What does all this mean for your kid?

Don't Talk The Talk

            Love is being stupid together
           Paul Valery

If love is indeed being stupid together, then we need to be more stupid.

Stop rationalizing your kid's "reading problem" and start loving children's books.

There is other way about it.

Oh yes, did I mention - forget about acting.

If you just pretend to love books, your kids will know that it is just make-believe.

You have to fall head over heels in love with books - children's books - if you want your kids to love books for the long haul.

Do you want to help your child become an expert?

To master the master skill?

Then help him/her invest thousands of hours into reading. 

It is easy to say - but how to do this, you ask?

Read Aloud Dad says - if you are fighting for every minute of reading, you are already fighting a losing battle.

In fact, you are on the wrong battleground altogether.

If you really want to win this battle, look into the mirror. There lies your enemy.

The real battleground is YOUR reading.

Do your kids see YOU enjoying books?

Are you reading aloud together daily?

Do you go to the library together?

Are you secretly staying awake at night searching online for the best children's books to share with your kid?

Do you know Ye olde book store inside out?

Do you laugh with your kid while enjoying the latest children's bestsellers?

Are you digging up your old copies of timeless classics of children's literature from your cellar to read together with your boy/girl?

If the answer to most of these questions is no, ask yourself - can you do more to support your kids to become superior readers?

You simply have to help your kid clock those hours.

Hundreds of hours. Thousands of hours.

Read aloud, take part of the heavy load off your child's shoulders.

Don't ask for discipline, if you cannot show it yourself.

For every hour you invest reading with your kid, they will probably read 10 or twenty times more.

Look in the mirror, if you just see a parent and not an avid reader - it means you have left your kid to fight on the frontline alone.

If you want your kid to love books and reading, today it is no longer enough to love your child.

The #1 way to excite your children about reading is for YOU to fall in love with children's books.

Love is infectious.

So, start reading.

If you enjoyed this post, don't forget to sign up to receive free children's book reviews from Read Aloud Dad by email or RSS.


  1. Great articles Read Aloud Dad, I enjoy receiving your emails. I've always loved childrens books, especially for the design and illustrations. I've been reading to my 4 year old son since he was a baby, he took so much interest in the words and turned out to be an early reader, (coincidence?). We make books and reading fun and I love searching for the next exciting book for us to read.
    Twitter: @booksandkids

  2. Hi CandaceApril,

    You are most welcome! Thank you so much for your nice words and for taking the time to leave a comment! :-)

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: CandaceApril 

  3. Excellent post!  Thank you for sharing it at the Smart Summer Challenge!

  4. Dear Lynette,

    Thank you for such a kind message and for sharing this post to your FB page! 

    Although you read at night, the good thing is that your kids can see books around your house. Of course, it will help to read in front of them, we can all do more in this department!

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @392ccd1c85c9d7775c6c27111c767b64 

  5. Dear Lynette,

    Thank you for such a kind message and for sharing this post to your FB page! 

    Although you read at night, the good thing is that your kids can see books around your house. Of course, it will help to read in front of them, we can all do more in this department!

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

    Read Aloud Dad

  6. Thank you for this post.  I've never read your blog before, but I'm going to from now on. :) You brought up the number 1 reason I think most kids don't like reading much -- because they don't see their parents doing it.  My problem is I read when my kids are in bed, so I'm reading, but they aren't seeing me read.  I need to change that!!  I've all ready shared your post to my facebook page, so thank you!! :) :)

  7. Hi, I am a new follower through the blog hop. Hope to read more Follow me back at Http://

  8. Thanks so much Sharon,

    Indeed you are star! You know, although I read a lot to my kids - I am personally guilty of not reading more on my own. 

    So, I'm trying to change this. Your comment is an inspiration!

    Thanks for hopping over!I love good deals - I'll check out both your blogs!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @cef1e8c11366a6b02c1858d87f1e8c84 

  9. I love to read!!!!  and always have a book going!  Thanks for the reminder to be readers ourself.  hopping over from Hobbies on a Budget and Real Life Deals

  10. Thanks kzoomoo,

    Lovely experience with your older and younger kids! 

    I truly love to hear positive stories from dedicated parents like you - it just helps to reinforce what I feel is true in my heart.

    Not a single minute invested in your child's reading is ever lost or spent idly. Your story is the best example!

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @f59ee338580c2c5f808fbc6a02382322 

  11. So true, so true! I rediscovered wonderful children's books when my older children were young, and they are strong readers now. My little ones, including my 3 year old daughter, love books, so they are likely to be strong readers as well.

  12. Dr Julie Ann,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this very valuable comment.

    You made my day.

    I am especially happy to receive your support - which is all the more important as it is based on your professional experience as an educational psychologist. 

    BTW, your niece sound like a true charmer with her "public reading" sessions! Congratulations to her parents who started reading to her so early. With my kids, I made the mistake of starting reading only when they were 2 years old. Thankfully, their mom was there for them a long time before something "clicked" in my thick head. 

    By the way, my son 3y.10 month old son recently gave an instruction manual to his twin sister to read aloud to him (she loves "reading aloud" too). 

    "Please read this to me," he asked. (He mistakenly believes that his sister can read).

    Well, she told him: "Sorry, I can't read this to you. It is too hard".

    Cracked me up!

    A big thanks for your support 

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: DrJulieAnn 

  13. In my other life, I am an educational psychologist (an expert on teaching/learning).  Your post says in a nutshell what I tell parents all the time when they ask me how they can get their children to read.  I often ask them how often do THEY read and then they get kind of sheepish. 

    My 18-month old niece loves "reading" to us all.  Of course she isn't actually reading but she is mimicking what she sees her parents doing and the fact that her parents started reading to her when she was in the NICU unit.  She examines every book she comes in contact with very carefully.

    Some of my favorites from my schoolteacher days: Corduroy (still makes me cry), If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (still cracks me up!), and Go Dog Go! (do you like my hat?)

  14. Excellent! All parents need to read this and then read ! I just discovered your site and will be bookmarking it. Thanks

  15. Thanks Julie!

    That is so nice of you :-)

    I am so happy to have you as a reader - thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

    Parents need to read indeed!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @837e9465cad1a4f5d8b5ace4034261e8 

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