Raising Kids Who Read

Daniel Willingham
Target Age
0-3 , 12-18 , 3-6 , 6-12

In his new book, Raising Kids Who ReadDaniel Willingham wants to be clear: There's a big difference between teaching kids to read and teaching them to love reading.

And Willingham, a parent himself, doesn't champion reading for the obvious reasons — not because research suggests that kids who read for pleasure do better in school and in life.

"The standard things you'll hear about why kids should read I actually don't think are very strong arguments," he says. "Because if the goal is to become a good citizen or the goal is to make a lot of money, I can think of more direct ways to reach those goals than to read during your leisure time."

Willingham wants his kids to love reading because, he says, "for me it's a family value. It's something that I love, something that I find important. I think I gain experiences I wouldn't gain any other way by virtue of being a reader. And so naturally I want my children to experience that."

The professor of psychology at the University of Virginia uses his new book to map out strategies for parents and teachers hoping to kindle that same passion for reading.

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