Reading at home is so important. This is my favorite advice to parents. Create a LOVE of Reading and you’ll never regret it. I am heartsick when I hear students say they don’t like reading. I think they are just reading the wrong books and they are just one book away from finding a love in reading.
We have to help them find that book. Here are 5 ideas to create a LOVE of Reading that will stand the test of time.
Reading at home: It’s Simple Math
Children will associate reading books with that snuggling and love. We can share funny stories like “Pete the Cat” by Eric Litwin and let them giggle.
We can share friendship stories like “Chicken Sunday” by Patricia Polacco and teach them the value of true friendship.
We can share stories of sadness like “I”ll Always Love You” by Hans Wilhelm.
We can even share nervousness like “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg to prepare them for life using books. It’s a great way to share love.
Let them Listen…to you read.
They need to understand things like voice (how should that dog sound when he’s talking) and intonation (making your voice show the ups and downs of language that can be shown in just text).
They need to hear you read breathlessly when you are reading about a race and they need to hear you whisper when they are reading about a quiet time.
Their first reading experiences sound like robots, but when they hear you read with expression, they will, too. You will get a kick out of hearing them read with your expression, before it becomes their expression.
Let them “read” it first…to preview and predict
Before you read, have them look at the book. They can preview what will happen by looking at pictures. If you want to share the fun of a specific part of the book with them, let them look at the pages up until a certain point, then tell you what they think will happen.
When you discuss the book before they know the answers, you are helping them predict and draw conclusions.
You are their first teachers, so using words like “make a prediction” or “what do you think will happen” will give them such a head start on reading.
Have Fun…when you read
Tuesday can be “Where are we going to” day. Pick a destination and dive in. Read about the zoo, the ocean, or the mountains.
Wednesday can be all about “when” did the book takes place. Choose a book about the morning or the night, or maybe a book about the summer or the winter, or maybe even something that happened long ago or maybe way in the future.
It could be fun to explore the “when” of books.
Thankful Thursday can build a capacity for caring in your child. What are we thankful for? Read books about food or houses or pets or families.
Friday is such a relief. It’s a good time to relax and choose a pre-read book to read again. It makes the reading easy and they can even help you. Being creative with books, makes reading at home fun.
reading at home = Reading is a Reward
One of the WORST things I’ve ever heard is: “I have to read when I’m being punished in my room.”
Say it isn’t so. Don’t make reading the punishment. Please, please, please make it a reward. Why would we ever want to associate reading with punishment?
You have had a fantastic day, let’s read a book before your bath AND after your bath.
I hope this gives you ideas about creating a love of reading. Reading at home could be one of the best gifts you give your child. Want more? Check out 30 Key Child Literacy Stats Parents Should Know.