How to Nurture a Growing Reader Reading is Fundamental (www.RIF.org)
Reading doesn't just happen. It is a skill that must be nurtured from a child's earliest years. Once children know how to read, they still need gentle coaxing and support to reach their full potential as readers.
Here are a dozen tips for nurturing your growing readers:
- Read with your children at least once every day.
- Make sure they have plenty to read. Take them to the library regularly, and keep books and other reading materials in their reach.
- Notice what interests your child, then help find books about those things.
- Respect your child's choices. There's nothing wrong with series fiction if that's what keeps a young reader turning the pages.
- Praise your children's efforts and newly acquired skills.
- Help your child build a personal library. Children's books, new or used, make great gifts and appropriate rewards for reading. Designate a bookcase, shelf or box where your children can keep their books.
- Check up on your children's progress. Listen to them read aloud, read what they write and ask teachers how they're doing in school.
- Go places and do things with your children to build their background knowledge and vocabulary, and to give them a basis for understanding what they read.
- Tell stories. It's a fun way to teach values, pass on family history and build your children's listening and thinking skills.
- Be a reading role model. Let your children see you read, and share some interesting things with them that you have read about in books, newspapers or magazines.
- Continue reading aloud to older children even after they have learned to read by themselves.
- Encourage writing along with reading. Ask children to sign their artwork, add to your shopping list, take messages and make their own books and cards as gifts.