Wednesday, February 22, 2006

How? Let's start with a simple list.

The number one question people ask me about their child is, "How do I raise a reader?"

This question is just as complex as it is simple. I could go on and on about all the technical and scientific terms, processes and methods that are used to teach reading. But that would bore most who come here looking for useful information. So, here is the purpose of this blog: To give parents a place to find tips and information about how to raise their children with the love of reading.

Lets start with a simple list:

1) Read to your Baby!
Its never too early to introduce your child to books. "Read" board books to your infant, put cloth books in the crib, and float plastic books in the bathtub. Your children will grow up with the idea that books are an integral part of their lives.

2) Make Time For Books.
Set aside a specific time to read to your child every day. Nap time and bed time are obvious opportunities. Another might be over mealtine or while they are in the bath tub.

3) Keep Books Available.
Make it easy to read. Keep a sack of board books in the car to divert kids while you're running errands and on the nightstand to amuse early risers. Pack a vareity of books while traveling. Put a shelf in the bathroom with books to read while potty training.

4) Be A Reading Role Model.
Show your children that you value reading. Let them see that you are reading for pleasure, and tell them how much you enjoy reading with them. Take them along on trips to the library and book store.

5) Make Your Own Books.
Preschoolers can dictate their own stories and then add illustrations. Other ideas? Make a Holiday Book that shows your family traditions, a birthday book recording party memories, or a travel diary about the family vacation.

6) Read Anything And Everything.
While in the car, encourage your child to read the road signs. In the grocery store, ask the children to find the juice or cereal they want. Learning to differentiate amoung packages and to recognize road signs is a beginning step in learning how to read.

7) Play With Letters.
Magnetic letters allow children to spell t heir name on the refrigerator. Letter blocks combine stacking and spelling for double the fun. Cards with the letters raised in sandpaper give the shapes a tactile feel, and they can make rubbings of the letters and create words too.

8) Read it Again and Again.
Parents may get tired of reading the same favorite book over and over, but repetition is an important development step in learning to read. As they repeat the familiar refrains with you, children begin to associate the words they say with the words on the page. Soon they'll be recognizing and reading words on their own.

Those are a few ideas to get you started. Keep coming back to find more tips and ideas to envelope your child in the love of reading.