Did you know that you can do simple things in your home to help your child, regardless of age, develop good reading habits? Being exposed to these good habits will help children become stronger readers and students. The first step is developing positive reading habits with your child, as well as a positive attitude towards literacy in your family and in your home.
- Make sure that your children observe you reading on a regular basis. What you read is not important — when your child sees you reading recipes, magazines, newspapers, books, telephone directories, and other reading materials, it will reinforce the importance of reading.
- To stimulate reading, keep reading materials throughout the house. This will increase your child's access to books and printed material. Help them understand that reading doesn't only happen at school — it can happen anywhere. Studies suggest that learners who read outside of school are more successful readers and students.
- If you cannot read easily, talk about the pictures in books, magazines, and newspapers with your child. It is important for your child to observe your efforts in acquiring reading abilities. In addition, ask them to read aloud to you or to tell you about what they have read in their own words.
- Visit your public library often, and take advantage of the resources offered there. You can get a library card and borrow books, cds, and dvds from the library for free! Make sure to get your children their own library cards, and ask a librarian for help if you don't know how to sign up for one.
- Encourage your children to read in their native language. If reading skills are developed in the native language they will transfer into English. Developing reading skills in their native language will not hinder children's ability to read in English — it will help!
- Do not allow your kids to watch television until they have done their daily reading.
- As your child becomes a better reader, talk about what he/she is reading. When your child finishes a new story or reading assignment, discuss the main ideas, new words and concepts, and your child's favorite section. This will help strengthen your child's reading comprehension skills.
By taking these steps in your home, you will not only encourage your children to read — you will help them succeed in the classroom and beyond!