ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO READ!
One of the greater challenges teachers face is not simply getting students to read – it's getting them to enjoy it too. Teachers and parents want their children to open another book when they get home at the end of the day for the mere pleasure of it.
Research has shown that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if a child’s attitude towards reading becomes less positive. If children do not enjoy reading when they are young, then they are unlikely to do so when they get older.
That is why for younger readers in particular, their home environment is critically important.
What are some ways to encourage school-age readers?
1. Continue being a good role model - Let your child see you read.
2. Encourage your child to read on her own at home - Reading at home can help your child do better in school.
3. Keep a variety of reading materials in the house - Make sure to have reading materials for enjoyment as well as for reference.
4. Encourage your child to practice reading aloud - Frequently listen to your child read out loud and praise her often as she does so. Offer to read every other page or even every other chapter to your child. Have conversations and discussions about the book with your child.
5. Write short notes for your child to read - Write down his weekly household responsibilities for him to keep track of or put a note in his lunch bag.
6. Encourage activities that require reading - Cooking (reading a recipe), constructing a kite (reading directions), or identifying a bird's nest or a shell at the beach (reading a reference book) are some examples.
7. Establish a reading time, even if it's only 10 minutes each day - Make sure there is a good reading light in your child's room and stock her bookshelves with books and magazines that are easy to both read and reach.
8. Talk with your child - Talking makes children think about their experiences more and helps them expand their vocabularies. Ask your child to give detailed descriptions of events and to tell complete stories.
9. Give your child writing materials - Reading and writing go hand in hand. Children want to learn to write and to practice writing. If you make pencils, crayons, and paper available at all times, your child will be more inclined to initiate writing activities on his own.
10. Restrict television time - The less time your child spends watching television, the more time he will have for reading-related activities.
11. Visit the library once a week - Have your child apply for her own library card so she can check out books on her own for schoolwork and for pleasure reading. Ask your child to bring home a library book to read to a younger sibling and encourage her to check out books on tape that she can listen to on long car trips.
12. Work in partnership with your child's school - The more you know about the type of reading program his school follows, the more you can help by supplementing the program at home. Offer to volunteer in the classroom or school library as often as your schedule allows. Ask the school for parent participation materials.