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Encouraging Reading

Here are some ideas to encourage reading in the home:

  • Help your kids get their own public library card. Visit the library regularly, get to know the children’s librarian, and ask for recommendations. Your children might want to browse and select their own titles, too!
  • Ask the children’s librarian at your child’s school for ideas for titles that might appeal from their collection.
  • Find a local bookstore with a good children’s section and request suggestions from the person ordering the books.
  • Explore ways to have fun with reading and language—such as creating books, poems, songs, puppet shows, and computer art and stories, and acting out favorite stories. Let your child’s interests and enthusiasm inspire and guide new activities!
  • Repetition, rhyme, predictable text, colorful pictures, humor, suspense, imagination, emotional appeal and carefully crafted text that match your child’s developmental level are book attributes children will appreciate.
  • If your children have a favorite book, they might enjoy other titles by the same author.
  • Offer your children different kinds of books—nonfiction, fiction, poetry, folklore, and multicultural stories that may expose them to new experiences, as well as books about issues relevant to their life, such as friendship, sports or other topics that interest them strongly.
  • Set aside a time for Family Reading. Turn off the TV. Have everyone in the family choose something to read (newspaper, book, magazine). Showing your kids that everyone reads for enjoyment is important to helping them build a love for reading.

Reading expert Jim Trelease writes, “What children read is less important than the fact that they read.” If your kids read a range of different kinds of books, they will begin to evaluate what they feels is worthwhile. A love of books, leading to a lifelong enjoyment of reading, is the most important consideration of all!

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