One of the greatest things an adult can do is read to a child. Reading can spark your child’s imagination. It allows playful creativity to take over. And it opens up a world of learning. Whether you, your child or someone else does the reading, there’s sure to be a memory produced, experience gained or knowledge added.
In a previous blog, we shared three steps for raising a reader. Here are three more steps for raising a reader.
1. Make literacy a gift they’ll treasure.
Few kids remember what toys they received or when, but many have special memories of the books they read as children. Whether you gift a book that’s a classic childhood favorite, or a one that is dedicated to today’s popular characters, encouraging reading is a gift that can keep; giving for a lifetime.
My mother gave me a copy of Little House on the Prairie when I was in the 2nd grade. I was hooked. For years after I traveled with Laura, Mary, and Baby Carrie across the windswept plains of the midwest. Today the book is tattered and worn, but it still holds a place of honor on our family bookshelf.
2. Plant seeds of interest.
Kids are most likely to embrace reading when the topics they’re reading about capture their attention. Whether it’s comic books or chapter books, there’s no right or wrong source of reading material. If you’re not sure where to start, consider introducing books that come in a set or series. Once your child finds a favorite, she’ll likely be eager to read additional books that take her favorite characters on new and exciting adventures.
3. Make reading fun.
Be patient. Every child learns at her own pace. The single most important thing you can do is to make it enjoyable.
Let your child pick out her own book. (Heaven know, I must have read aloud Goodnight Moon a thousand times to my toddlers!) You’ll still instill an early love of reading and give her the best chance at reading success in no time.
For more information on the importance of youth reading, visit rif.org.