Reading is fun! Here are eight tips for parents to help their children become better readers:
1. Read yourself – Your actions really do speak louder than your words. When your children see you reading the newspaper or curling up with a book, they will want to follow your example.
2. Make sure your children read every day – Reading, just like when shooting baskets or playing the piano, is a skill. Like other skills, it gets better with practice. Researchers have found that children who spend at least 30 minutes a day reading for fun – whether they read books, newspapers, or magazines - develop the skills to be better readers at school.
3. Get in the library habit – Make sure everyone in your family has a library card. Schedule regular trips to the library. While you are there, checkout a book yourself!
4. Read aloud to your children – Start reading to your children when they are very young. Set aside some time each day for reading aloud. Even 10 minutes a day can have a big impact. Bedtime is a natural reading aloud time. You will both enjoy the chance to do something together.
5. Make reading fun – Use a newspaper or magazine to create a reading scavenger hunt.Give your child a list of things to find in the publication. Find books that relate to your child’s interest. If your child is fascinated with construction equipment, sports, or even fashion, find books, magazines, and even online content that he/she will enjoy reading.
6. Give books as gifts – Then find a special place for your children to keep and grow their own library.
7. Reading pockets – Slip fun reading material into your pockets to bring home to your child; a story or comic strip, a greeting card, even a fortune cookie from lunch. Let your child know when there is something to share in your reading pocket.
8. Make reading a privilege – Say, "You can stay up 15 minutes later tonight if you read in bed." Or you might say, "Because you helped with the dishes, I have time to read you an extra story tonight."
Even if you are not a good reader, you can still encourage your children. As your children learn to read, ask them to read to you. Talk about the books your children have read; what they learned or enjoyed about the book or its characters.