Studies have shown that when your child spends more than 10 hours watching television a week , they will do worse in reading than those whose parents place a time limit on their viewing. Of course, the same is true for those students playing video games or those who are engaged in non-educational computer time. It’s the same for your older children who want to be on Facebook or be texting their friends at every opportunity. I have some suggestions:

Establish a one hour reading period one evening a week or during the weekend where everyone sits around reading either to themselves or to others. Varying the reading activities during that hour adds interest and stops it being just a habit and/or a tradition (not that there’s anything wrong with a habit or tradition!)

Have a basket by the door where those with cellphones place them on entry to the house.

Place realistic time limits on the use of TV, computers and cellphones (Maybe ALL technology). Remember, you are in charge and not wanting to upset your children by doing this is parenting at its weakest.

Place labels on things for very young children to read and spell. Use this like a game to increase their reading skills, and their ability to spell.

‘Door’. ‘Table’. ‘Bench’. ‘Bed’. ‘Couch’. ‘Dishwasher’. ‘Stove’ etc.

For older children (say 9-12) get them to follow recipes and bake or cook with you. This way they are increasing their reading skills and are learning to bake/cook.

Set up a treasure hunt and have your children read the clues to get the ultimate treasure. Of course, the language in the clues would be written at your child’s ability level.

As you travel have your children read signs out aloud. Or, they could guess the make of cars and spell them out loud. Make a real game out of it!