Reading Tips

1.  Listen to your child read to you every day.
  Have your child read to you at least 20 minutes each day.

2.  Make sure that your child is reading books that are "just right" for him.  The books should be at your child's reading level, so that he does not become frustrated while reading and to ensure that the experience is enjoyable.  As much as possible, the books should be of interest to your child.

3.  Make reading together a regular part of your child's daily routine.  For example, have your child read every evening in bed, before falling asleep.  This can become a life-long routine for him.  If that time does not work for him, try another time, such as right after an after-school snack.  However, do not pull your child away from an activity that he is thoroughly enjoying in order to read.  Reading should not be a "chore."  If reading is part of your child's everyday routine, just like eating a daily mid-morning snack, it will be much easier to get him to read every day.

4.  If you would like to read to your child, please do so in addition to the 20 minutes that he reads to you each day.  Reading to your child does help develop his reading skills, but if your child is a struggling reader, it is most important for him to read to you every day.  Reading is like swimming--modeling it for your child will help him see what he needs to do in order to swim, but your child will only truly learn how to swim when he jumps in the water and tries the strategies himself.

5.  Show enthusiasm for books.  Show excitement and interest for the books that your child has to read each night.  If your child sees how excited you are to learn about the books and hear him read, he, in turn, will be more enthusiastic about reading his books every day.

6.  Have genuine conversations with your child about the books.  Books are meant to be discussed.  Just like we enjoy talking about the latest episodes of our favorite television shows with our family and friends, we also like discussing good books.  The more you talk about the books with your child, the more interested he will be in reading.  Discussion makes the books meaningful.

7.  Model good reading habits for your child.  Talk to your child about a book that you are reading.  Have a pile of books next to your bed, so that he sees that you are a reader, too.  Take your child to the library and/or bookstore to buy books.  Make sure that you get books for yourself, as well as your child. 

8.  Ensure that reading is always FUN!  Try your best to not make reading a "chore" for your child.  Let him know that reading with him is a time that you look forward to each day.  Sit with your arm around your child while he is reading, so that he sees this time as a special bonding time with you.