Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to help your children love reading

How do we encourage our kids to read? Reading is a great bonding activity between mother and child or among the family. First of all, we should fill our home with reading materials like books, magazines, newspapers, and even cookbooks. Start seasonal traditions. Pick a special book to read together every year during the holidays.

It’s also important to connect your kids to books they want to read. Let the interest of your child guide his or her choices. Picture books are great for everyone, especially for family read-alouds. It’s okay to suggest some of your favorite books to your child or books that you may have read when you were his or her age, but do not be pushy. Help your child become a successful reader by talking, listening, and reading together.

Infants and toddlers—Reading and talking to very young children builds knowledge about words and language they will later use in learning to talk and read. Read often with infants and toddlers and talk about what you are reading. As a general rule, NEVER “baby-talk”. Some parents “baby-talk” to their toddlers because they’d find it “cute”, but it isn’t advisable because kids will definitely have a hard time later in life trying to properly pronounce a word just because he was used to “baby-talk”.

For ages 3-5—Choose books with simple concepts like numbers, shapes, or colors, as well as books that encourage children to participate. Point out details about books, such as titles, authors’ name, and illustrator’s names.

For ages 6-8—Reading does not come naturally. This is a skill that has to be practiced. Research suggests that children need to be exposed to words between 6 to 60 times before they can memorize and read them fluently without stopping to sound out words.

For ages 9-12—Children need ongoing encouragement and should be surrounded by book-rich environment at home. Exposing children to a wide variety of reading materials such as science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction helps build vocabulary and comprehension.

For ages 13-15—Now, more than ever, adolescent readers need parental support to maintain the reading momentum needed in preparation for standardized tests.

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