While kids may learn to read in school, as parents, we need to support them and encourage their love of reading! I found these tips among my daughter’s papers, as part of her school’s “Read Across America” celebration:
- Visit your local library often. Get your children their own library cards. Try a story hour or other free event at the library.
- Let your child see you reading, whether it’s the newspaper, a magazine, or the latest bestseller.
- Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Or have the whole family set aside some time to read together!
- Look for signs and labels, especially ones in your neighborhood, to show that reading for meaning (not just for fun) is important. Talk about the “environmental print” (the words around you) whenever you travel with your kids.
- Create a library for your child of new or used books. Look for affordable books at yard sales, secondhand book stores, and library book sales.
- Set up an area in your home where a variety of reading materials are within easy reach. Encourage writing by including paper, crayons, pens and pencils.
- Open a dictionary and pick a word they probably know. See if they can guess the word by reading them the definition. Help them understand that some words have several meanings, like “watch”.
- Carry books to read to your child wherever you go – at the doctor’s office, in line at the store, or on a long car ride. (You can also listen to stories on tape.)
- Subscribe to a children’s magazine. Read it with your child every month.
- Encourage a love of words by playing rhyming and word games, singing silly songs, or writing poems and stories together.
- Talk about daily activities or tell stories about your family or culture to help children develop their language skills.
- Pick a new word every day and teach it to your kid. Use it so they hear it in context. Encourage them to use it, and use it yourself. Even over-using it will be fun. Pick a word like “outstanding” and use it whenever something is “good”.
For more tips and useful information, please visit pbskids.org/lions.