From the time I was a small child I remember being surrounded by books. My parents would read to my brother and I at night before bed. Birthdays and other big events were often celebrated with books as gifts. When my brother was born I remember going to the hospital to visit and my mom gave me a book that she and my brother “picked out” for me. It was one of the Little Golden Books about being a big sister.
Developing good reading skills can help your child in so many areas of their life. As a former school teacher I could often tell which students had a love for reading simply by their vocabulary. I could talk all day long about tthe benefits of reading but I will save that for another post.
Here are some easy ways you can help your child develop good reading habits:
1. Model good reading habits. Children mimic what they see others doing. If they see you reading they will be more likely to want to read.
2. Read with your child. Take at least 10 minutes each day to air down with your child and read together. As they get older ask them to read to you.
3. Read material other than books. When your child is eating breakfast read the cereal boxes together. As you are driving down the road read the road signs. You don’t always have to read a book to create reading habits.
4. Take your child to the library. Sign your child up for their own library card and let them pick out books to check out. Most libraries have a limit of how many books your child can check out each time. Not only does this promote reweigh habits but it also teaches your child responsibility. They are now responsible for these books. You can go home and mark the date the books are due back, on your calendar so your child can also learn about due dates. This will help them later in life when bills are due!
5. Make reading fun. Your local library probably has programs for children to expose them to books and authors and to make reading more enjoyable. If you treat their nightly reading time as a chore or something that has to be done each day, your child will not be as likely to enjoy it. Find ways to make reading enjoyable for your child.
Good luck and have fun reading with your child!