Yesterday evening, I participated in Literacy Night at my 6 year old daughter’s elementary school. The event took place in order for both children and parents to get excited about reading and promote literacy in the family and the community. Each child who attended got a brand new free book which helped promote the cause, and we were treated to book reading by a professional storyeller as well as a presentation by the Reading Specialist at the school.
I have always been a veracious reader and hoped to pass this trait onto both my children. My 6 year old is just now starting to read well and can read most books in her age range.
The Reading Specialist discussed the importance of fostering reading and literacy within the home, not just in school in order to get our children to read. And she is right—we cannot just sit back and have the school teach our children to read, we have to be active parents who also instill reading in our homes.
Here are 6 tips on how to promote reading within your home:
Read To Your Child
Reading to your child is one of the best ways to promote reading. Doing this regularly not only helps your child read better but works as a bonding method between you. My daughter loves when I read to her and I make sure to so this regularly. It is our special time together.
See The Movie/Read a Book
The Reading Specialist made a good point—most movies are turned into books and in order to spark your child’s interest in reading, choosing a book that has been turned into a movie is a really good way to get them excited about reading. Books like Harry Potter gave birth to many readers who have continued to read into adulthood. Movies are a good way to capture their attention and reading can continue the dialogue.
Playing word games like Scrabble promote reading and spelling. Playing these games in your home are fun and also work as a teaching method to your little ones. It can also make your child a better reader and speller.
Let Them Lead the Way
Keep your child engaged in reading by allowing them to help you find specific locations or destinations. While you are driving, tell them to look for a certain street and have them read the street names as you are driving. This can be a fun activity for your child as they feel they are active in the driving process.
Always Have a Book
Always have a book with you during waiting periods. When you are waiting for food in a restaurant, you can use this time to read a book together. Ask questions about the book as you are reading to keep your child engaged.
Going to the library and helping your child pick out books to read is a fun activity and helps promote reading. Your library is one of the biggest sources for books your child would love to read and it’s free and located within your community!
I believe in fostering reading in my children. Reading is a key element in your child’s success in school, so utilize those tips above for your young readers and watch them grow and improve!
Below are a few websites recommended by the Reading Specialist at my daughter’s school:
http://www.starfall.com (early literacy, beginning readers, readers)
http://www.pbskids.com (word games)
http://www.readwritethink.org (all ages)
http://www.storyline.net (stories read by celebrities)
http://www.kiddonet.com/gb/flash/phonics/Intro.html (phonics-beginning sounds)