Reading Tips: A Guide for Parents K-3
Reading: A Good Habit to Support
- Set aside time each day for you and your child to read together- - even if all you have is ten minutes. The important thing is that reading happens regularly and is a positive experience. If your own reading skills are limited, consider contacting a family literacy program such as a Parent Resource Center, an Even Start Program, or a local GED program.
- Tell family stories or folktales to your child or make up stories of your own.
- Ask a librarian for picture books and books on tape that you can share with your child.
- Set a good example. Let your child see that you enjoy reading books, newspapers, and magazines as a routine part of your day. Develop a home library.
- Read books over and over and over again. Your child needs the repetition and needs to hear a fluent reader read.
- Talk to your child about the pictures and characters in books and ask questions about the story.
- Provide new experiences for your child. If you are going on a trip, reading the map together ahead of time can be fun. If you are planning a birthday party, together you can choose games or plan refreshments.
- Link reading to real life. Follow your child’s interests, especially if he/she is “turned off” to reading. Seek out reading materials that are tuned into his/her interests.
- Connect your child with his/her grandparents and great-grandparents.
- Encourage them to read books together, talk about growing up, tell stories, and sing songs from their generation.
- Help your child become a more fluent reader by having him/her read to younger brothers and sisters.
Ways You Can Help Your Child Become a Reader
- Visit the library often. Make sure your child has a library card.
- Include your child in family conversations and listen to what he/she has to say. Being listened to builds a child’s self-esteem and helps him/her learn.
- Read aloud to your child. Verbal expression helps with vocabulary development which is an important aspect of learning to read.
- Provide opportunities for sharing information and learning about your child’s interests and feelings.
- Verbal expression leads to language development, an important aspect of learning to read.
- Play with words by rhyming, finding opposites, and naming synonyms or words that have the same meanings like “big” and “large”. These types of activities give practice with thinking and vocabulary development.
- Check on your child’s progress in reading and ask the teacher about ways you can help.
- Play games with your child that involve reading and thinking about words.
- Make a grocery list with your child. Allow your child to find items in the grocery store and cross them off the list. Together, read labels, ingredients, and compare prices during the shopping trip.
- Have your child read schedules such as those for TV, buses, trains, etc.
- Link movies and television shows to books you have read together.
- Encourage your child to look up phone numbers in the phone book. Show him/her how to locate a business number by its category or by its name.
- Give gifts that encourage reading and writing: reading lamps, magazine subscriptions, books, stationery, pens, and blank books.
- Discuss your child’s reading accomplishments and praise him/her often.
- Make thank you notes, birthday cards, and invitations together. Allow your child to be creative in designing and writing.
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