Raising a child who loves to read can be easy if you follow these 10 tips!
1. Begin reading to your child as early as possible. It’s never too early (or too late) to begin reading to your child. Aim for reading 15 – 20 minutes per day!
2. Tailor your book selections to your child's interests. You know your child best. Don't choose books off of the best-selling list if they won't interest your child.
3. Tailor your book selections to your child's abilities. When selecting books, flip through the pages to see whether the language and number of words used matches your child's ability (not necessarily his age). Moreover, if your child is active...find active books (like pop ups or lift the flap). If your child is social...find books with interesting characters. If your child is musical...find sing-songy rhyming books, for example.
4. Let your child "succeed". Give your child a read aloud experience that he will want to repeat. Provide praise where appropriate to allow your child to associate accomplishment with the act of reading.
5. Give your child a little control. Let your child select a book or two to read together. Giving a child a choice will send the message to him that his opinion is valued, and it will let him discover his own interests.
6. Be engaging. Read those pages with passion! If you seem excited and curious about the story, you will be more likely to elicit this same response in your child. Emotions can be contagious, and young children are keen observers. If they see how you react to reading with them, they will model your behavior.
7. Be sensitive to your child's cues. Know when your child has had enough. You want the shared reading experience to be positive - so if your child is rubbing his eyes, it might be time to call it a night.
8. Read and repeat. If you've found a book and a reading situation that "works" for your child - do it again. Children learn through repetition; moreover, repeated exposure to the same book will increase the child's familiarity with it, which may help motivate him to read the next time!
9, Make a reading ritual. Try to make reading a part of your everyday routine and lifestyle. If you make time for reading, you'll be more likely to raise a reader! Your child will begin to understand that you value reading as a family, and soon it will become second nature. Reading several books before bed every night, or visiting your library on a weekly basis are examples of wonderful reading rituals.
10. Let your child "play" with books. Literacy experiences don't have to involve reading a book from cover to cover. Young children enjoy playing with books and gain important print awarenss skills by handling books. Try placing themed books in your child's play areas. For example, if your child has a toy kitchen, place cookbooks or books about fruits and vegetables nearby. Playful experiences with books will help your child associate reading with fun, and he'll be more motivated to read with you.