Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Top 10 Ways to Raise a Lifelong Reader

  1. Read to or with your child every day, for at least 15 minutes, even when your child is old enough to read independently.
  2. Create reading rituals. Cuddle together in the same comfortable space at the same time every day for bedtime stories; read a chapter book aloud at the breakfast table; pick out new books every time you go on vacation.
  3. Keep a running conversation: Talk about books you are reading as you read them. Ask your child open-ended questions about the plot and the characters.
  4. Show your child that you're a reader. Kids are more likely to grow up loving to read if they see that you enjoy it too.
  5. Surround your child with words -- spoken and written -- from birth. Even the simplest everyday conversations build his vocabulary and sound-recognition skills. Frequent exposure to letters and print helps pre-readers learn the alphabet and recognize words by sight. Have fun with language: Sing songs, read rhymes, play word games.
  6. Get your child a library card and make a regular date for visits to the library.
  7. Make books available in every room of your home -- as well as your car -- so that reading can happen spontaneously.
  8. Feed a passion: Help your child find books, magazines, or other written materials that relate to a special interest or hobby.
  9. Limit "screen time" (TV, video games, and computer games) so that it does not cut into time better spent reading.
  10. Writing supports reading and vice versa. Provide crayons, pens, pencils, and paper and encourage your child to write. Anything will do: letters, shopping lists, journal entries, original stories, etc.