Eight ways to make time for reading during the busy-ness of the school year

by Kirsti Granholm

Summer is unfortunately coming to an end, and you know what that means: the kids are headed back to school! For some this is probably a huge relief, but for others, not so much.

Early mornings, packing lunches, picking outfits, and getting your kids to school on time — oh such fun! All jokes aside, it can be a stressful time getting back into the groove of things. Especially if your children are involved with any extracurricular activities. It is always a challenge to fit all of the essentials into one day.

The CCBC has always promoted reading for fun, and we are not stopping now that school’s back on! Casual reading throughout the year is very important when it comes to the development of children’s literacy skills. But we know it’s not always easy to fit it into your schedule. That is why we put a list together of suggestions to help you make time for reading once school starts again.

  1. Set goals

Set reading goals for the school year, both for yourself and for your kids. It could be one book a day, week or a month, depending on your schedule. This way you can manage your children’s reading and keep that sense of obligation all year. Along with that, setting and recording goals will make your child feel a great sense of accomplishment, which promotes even more reading!

  1. Be a good example

Set an example for your children. Pick up a book instead of watching television, bring a novel for your beach day instead of being on your phone. This way, you’ll be promoting literacy to your kids so maybe, just maybe, they’ll pick up a book without being asked.

  1. Plan ‘reading time’ before bed

This one is for all the parents with super energetic kids! Squeezing in reading time before bed may be convenient, but there are also a lot of other perks. It will make your children look forward to bed time (especially if it’s a book that they pick) and it will help them get to sleep much faster than watching television or playing video games before bed time.

  1. Explore variety

Your children do not have to read an extensive novel to have it count as “reading”. Picture books also work perfectly for sparking imagination and creating an interesting discussion about the plot and characters. Switch up the types of books you are giving to your kid to make reading on the daily, a bit easier.

  1. Library time!

During your free time, bring your children to our local library. Not only do they have a large variety of books to read, but they typically offer reading programs to keep your kids engaged! This will enable them to socialize, have fun and sneak in a book or two.

  1. Encourage reading during travel

Do you drive your kids to school? Do they take a school bus or public transportation? Pack a book in your kids bag so they have something to do during a long bus-ride home. That way, they may even begin to do it on their own!

  1. Talk about it

Sometimes you might not be able to fit reading into your schedule, and that’s okay. If you want to get your children thinking critically, ask them about their book. What interests them? What topics do they want to explore more? What are their predictions of the book?

  1. Read out loud and together

To squeeze in reading time with socializing, why not have your child read to you! This way you can spend quality family time together and make sure your little one is reading (and having fun). What could be better than cuddling and reading a good Canadian book!


Thank you for checking out our list. If you try any of these techniques let us know @kidsbookcentre on Instagram and Twitter!