November has been set aside as a time to celebrate family literacy. But with all of the challenges that 2020 has brought, it’s hard to focus on anything other than the necessities. Despite the distractions, families should prioritize literacy. Providing children with a deep love of reading is one of the skills that will ensure they are set up for success.

Take this month to set good reading habits with your kids. It might seem impossible, but there are so many small ways you can make it happen from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Make it a family affair. Even older kids benefit from hearing stories read aloud and can improve their own fluency by reading out loud to you, younger siblings or even to the family pet. Curl up together on the couch or better yet, snuggle on your bed and make it a slumber party.
  2. Set a goal! Decide on something that’s appropriate for you and aim to read that much every day. It’s a great way to create quality time with your kids, while also giving them a chance to explore new worlds. If it doesn’t go well one day, don’t worry! Just start over tomorrow.
  3. Find things to read that your child enjoys. School can sometimes seem like a chore, but leisure reading shouldn’t! Read your child the book version of their favorite movie. If they can read on their own, encourage them to read it! Most libraries are still open with curbside pickup, so don’t worry if you don’t have many books in your home. Or find a magazine, comic book or a newspaper article that may appeal more to your child.
  4. Set the example. Kids are impacted when they see adults read. They’ll be interested in what you’re reading and they’ll learn from the caregivers around them who prioritize time to enjoy a good book.
  5. Switch things up. If you’ve already read the books you own, check out what’s available at a nearby Little Free Library. Consider donating there, if you can. Organize swaps with friends or family. Ask your child to read a recipe as you bake for the holidays or act out your favorite holiday story virtually for out-of-town family members.
  6. Check out online resources. Many libraries and nonprofit groups are offering online storytime and other literacy aids, which can be especially interesting for younger children. Here are a few examples: