Initially created as a one-day event to celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, NEA’s Read Across America has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day. What a nice reminder to help our children develop a life-long love of reading.
Children learn to speak and walk by instinct, but did you know reading is different? Reading needs to be taught. And a child’s first and best teacher is a parent.
Raising successful readers begins by creating a literate home. The following twelve tips will get you started.
- Model reading as an enjoyable activity—let your kids see YOU read for your own personal pleasure.
- Reading helps develop imagination, curiosity, and a love of books.
- If your child is too young to read words, they can read the pictures!
- Finding books that ignite a child’s imagination is 99% of the challenge.
- Take your kids to the library often and let them choose books that attract their interest.
- Make reading a family routine—set aside 10-20 minutes for reading every day—for both you and your child.
- Tell your kids they “get to” read, rather than telling them they “have to” read.
- When your child finishes a book, ask them questions about the story they’ve just read ask them to describe their favorite passages, characters, and illustrations.
- Take turns reading aloud at bedtime. Kids enjoy and look forward to this special time with their parents.
- If your child is a reluctant reader, introduce them to audio books.
- Reward reading with more reading—stop by the library or bookstore for the next book in your child’s favorite series—or sign up for a reading contest at the library where if you read so many books, you get a reward. Or make up your own reward.
- Organize a bookshelf for your child’s collection—having a special place for their books will demonstrate to your child that books are valuable.
NEA = National Education Association