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Tips for Helping Your Child Build Reading Skills


Reading is a basic life skill. It is a cornerstone for a child’s success in school, and, indeed, throughout life.”
Becoming a Nation of Readers
The Report of the Commission on
  • Each home should have a variety of reading materials--newspapers, magazines, novels, brochures, catalogs, instruction manuals. Create a “print- rich” environment.
  • Help your child create a reading spot. It should have good lighting, be comfortable, and be away from television or phones.
  • Develop family routines that encourage reading:
    • Read the morning newspaper together as a family. Discuss what you read.
    • Visit the library as a family every week or two. Let your child bring a friend along to the library.
    • On long trips, you might want to listen to a book-on-tape together.
    • Let your child see some household information-- contracts, bills, directions for new appliances. Discuss the usefulness of good reading in daily life.
  • Have a daily reading time with your child--maybe 15-20 minutes. Make reading an enjoyable time.
  • Read aloud to your child and with your child.
  • Visit bookstores when you are out shopping. Let your child select an appropriate book based on his/her interests and reading level.
  • Find out your child’s reading interests. Suggest new books by a favorite author.
  • Read a book that is coming out as a movie. Go and see it together and compare the book and the movie.
  • If something on television, in a magazine article, or in a conversation interests your child, help him/her research it on the Internet or explore the reference area in a local library.
  • Join your child in reading. When you see your child reading, pick up a book or magazine and join him/her.
  • Give books as gifts.
  • Model. Let your child see you read. Talk about what you read. Let your child see you look up new words in a dictionary.
  • Tell make-believe and true stories that interest your child.
  • Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Encourage your child to write--e-mails, pen pals, and journals.