Help Your Child Become A Happy Reader

by Jennifer Chait

Why a happy reader? Many children learn to read; not all of them have a good time doing it though. A reader who enjoys the process is more likely to make reading a life-long pursuit rather than just read when she has to.

Here are some ideas that can help your child become a reader who loves to read.

JGS_Reading 200x300.jpgTalk and listen to your baby: Current research shows that babies absorb much more from simply listening to your words than was previously thought. When you talk often and clearly with your child (that includes listening to her thoughts as well) you’re giving her an early start towards a love of words and sounds.

Read together: This one’s a given. But with time demands; work, chores, meals, and more, family reading time can often be compromised for other tasks. I’ve run out of time in the day and not been able to sit down with my son and read — maybe you’ve done this too.

Parents aren’t always perfect, still, each day try to spend at least 30 minutes reading with your child. The dishes can wait — really, they’re not going to walk off (no matter how hard we wish).

Make book hunting an adventure: The smell of old books and hunting for 25 cent books can be so much fun. Take your child book hunting often. Try the library, new and used bookstores, garage sales. Make it a big deal when you find a great book. Your child will grab onto your excitement.

Read aloud: This isn’t the same as reading with, or to, a younger child. As your child masters reading skills let her read to you. My mom worked all day when I was young. She was pretty busy. Something good I remember about those busy days is that each night while she cooked dinner, I’d read to her; first Pippie Longstocking, and then other, tougher books.

The part I remember most is that she seemed actively engaged in the story — which may be the key to this tip. When your child reads to you, laugh, ask questions, let her know you’re listening and benefiting from her reading to you. And don’t make this time about correcting her skills — just let her read and have fun.

Other ideas: Draw pictures with letters, write words, make your own books, get some books in various languages, and listen to books on tape.
Tips adapted, in part, from The U.S Department of Education.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 6th, 2007 at 2:28 am and is filed under Parenting, Communication, School and Learning. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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