The tween years bring an important transition for your daughter from read-aloud stories to reading on her own. Independent reading is healthy for a child’s development, and it can encourage a lifelong love of reading. Here are some suggestions for how to help your daughter grow into an eager independent reader.

Give her choices. Allowing your daughter to choose her own reading material (within your approved parameters) will help her take ownership in the process and boost her interest as well as her confidence. Take her to the library or scan online book lists together. Suggest your favorite books from your tween years, but don’t be offended if she opts not to read them! The point is to encourage her to discover her own preferences.

Invite her to read to you. Younger tweens may be less inclined to read silently to themselves, especially if they’re still accustomed to being read to. Bridge the gap by inviting your daughter to read aloud to you instead. This will help her practice independent reading skills while still making reading a joint activity.

Ask questions. What is the story about? Who are her favorite characters, and why? Asking questions will encourage your daughter to think critically about the books she’d reading, which is an important skill not just for reading but in many aspects of education and life.

Subscribe to magazines. If your child isn’t yet into reading lengthy chapter books independently, start with tween-friendly magazines containing vivid pictures and articles that pique her interest. Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Brio magazines, as well as SHINE brightly magazine by GEMS Girls’ Clubs are all great options for Christian girls.

Provide time to read. With today’s busy family schedules, down time can be difficult to find. Try to provide quiet time at home for reading. One great solution is to allow your daughter to stay up half an hour past bed time just to read. This is a fun incentive and can help encourage her enthusiasm for reading.

Make God part of her story. While there are many wonderful books available today for tweens, we at Faithgirlz are partial to our biblically sound resources for growing girls. From Sophie to Lena to Glimmer Girls and more, we offer entertaining, edifying, and engaging reading options for tween girls of all kinds. For a list of our favorite books for tweens, see our recommended reading list here!