Read with your child. Your child will love it. Show your child that reading is important to you.
Make sure your child sees you reading, whether it be a newspaper, magazine, novel or even a comic book it is important that your child know that you enjoy reading. Children will always copy their adult role models.
Show your child that reading is an important part of life by keeping books, magazines and newspapers around the house. Show your child how you can get information on the internet by using sources like Wikipedia to do research and learn about topics that interest you. Also, make a habit of taking books for your children to read when you are at an appointment. Bring your current read as well to show them how to keep busy in a positive way while waiting.
Set up a special section in a room where your child can keep his own books—a shelf, a crate or bin, or a corner of the family bookshelf. Always encourage your child to look at a book, read it or take a picture walk, and enjoy reading!
You can read in any language that is comfortable in your home. Even if your child is just learning English in school, don’t worry about you reading in your most comfortable language. It is more important that your child sees you reading.
Some suggestions when reading with your child:
. Put your child on your lap and look at the book together
. Turn pages slowly and encourage conversation about the pictures and story.
. Make reading time a special daily activity that your child will look forward to.
. Ask questions about pictures to encourage predictions, character talk and story sequence.
. Make it a fun time for you and your child.
If your child is a beginning reader:
. Point out and read words in everyday setting such as stores, street signs, etc.
. Memorize and practice sight words together.
. Have your child practice visualizing the story in their head.
. Ask questions throughout reading time.
. Don’t tell your child the meaning of every word he does not know. Take time to come up with strategies to understand an unknown word.
. Show illustrations to give clues to word meanings or to see what’s happening in story.
If your child is a more advanced reader you should make sure he is reading at least 30 minutes a night (or more if directed by teacher). This time can include time reading to you, independently or even back and forth reading. Most importantly, and especially for advanced reader, give your child the opportunity to explore books. Visit a bookstore or library and take time to find topics that interest your child. It is important to find a book that is a good fit for your child. Is it too easy or just right? If it is a little bit difficult, it may a book he can aspire to read as his reading flourishes.
Here are some questions you can ask your child while reading:
. What did you notice about the story?
. What have you been wondering about as you read this story?
. Does this book remind you of another book you have read or something you have seen?
. What is your favorite part of the book?
. Were there any parts of the book that surprised you and why?
. What do you want to read next?
Most of all, make reading fun. If you read a story that has a TV show or movie with the same title, be sure to watch it with your child. You can talk about what you think is the same as the book and what is different from the book. I know as an adult I am always doing this when I finally see a movie of one of my favorite books. Most avid readers will agree that the book is always better. Your child, however, may like the movie better, especially a Disney movie.
In summary, encourage your child to read, show your love for reading and build a better reader for life!
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