You might not like my answer.
For years I thought it was a matter of reading by example, visiting the library often and discussing books at the dinner table.
But the truth is, it comes down to buying books.
ECLS data confirms that with every other variable monitored the difference between kids who read and those who don’t is stacks of books at home without any due date (Ben found this statistic while reading Freakonomics).
And yes, buying books takes money, but there are so many great options for buying books cheaply: yard sales, library sales, 1 cent books on Amazon (my favorite), school book orders. Many Americans consider cable TV a necessity, but at the cost of $50-$60 per month, think of how many books that could buy (I’m not saying that subscribing to cable TV is evil- I’m pretty sure you could monitor it better than I can– but if you had to choose between the two, I’d vote for books every time.).
It made me laugh this morning to see Stefan perusing the first grade book order (he didn’t circle anything).
Hmm, I’ve said way more than I should. Don’t be surprised if this post disappears before dinner time. 😉