What parent doesn't want to raise a real reader? Especially when it's been proven over and over that kids who love to read perform better in school! The question is how
do you raise a kid who loves to read?
Here are some tips!
- While your kid's still little, make a practice of pointing out the words as you read—in books, on cereal boxes, signs, wherever!—so you kid makes the connection between written words and spoken words.
- Teaching your kid the alphabet is obvious, but take it a step further and turn letters into games. Search for letters when you're out and about and help your kid make the connection between letters and sounds. (Remember kindergarten? "Kay says 'k'!")
- Keep your kid surrounded by books of all kinds. In addition to story books, be sure to buy letter books, counting books, poetry, rhyming books, etc. The more the merrier!
- Make reading an adventure. Bedtime stories are great, but don't be afraid to stretch your routine. Take reading outside. Read books about eating in the kitchen. Buy waterproof books and read in the bath.
- Don't stop reading to your child even after he's reading on his own. There's a lot of learning that can be done from hearing stories read aloud. You can even try listening to books on CD, so you don't have to do all the reading yourself.
- Encourage any kind of reading. Even if your kid's totally into books that are less than your idea of "quality literature," reading is reading! The more interested she is in and entertained by what's she's reading, the more she's likely to read! Comic books and magazines are all fair game!
- Make reading practical, too. Write notes to your kid, play word games like Scrabble or Boggle, anything that helps them get that reading is a part of daily life and not just reserved for books.
Finally, set the example for your child and read yourself! If you kid sees you reading—and enjoying it—she'll be likely to want to do it, too.