As a teacher, parents would ask me, “How do I help my child learn to read, or learn to read better?” I had a simple, yet important answer, and it didn’t involve some expensive material or tutoring. My answer, which was true when I started teaching and is still true today, was what we talked about in our first blog, “Read to and with your child every day.” Period. That’s it. No mystery. (I understand not always easy, I was a working parent, too, but oh, this is so important!)
And, research shows that children who have lots of books in their houses where they can get to them easily, develop reading skills far above those who don’t. (You do have to teach them to treat books with respect, but you need to make them available.)
“OK”, you say, “I’d like to do that, but books are expensive.”
True. Here are some inexpensive ways to get books:
#1 Use the public library. Start your young, young child off right by getting him or her a free library card. Children’s librarians are people who like nothing better than helping young children learn to love books. And, if your time permits, take them to the library story times and enroll them in the library summer programs.
#2 Get children’s books at used book stores and yard sales.
#3 If your child is in school, use the school libraries.
#4 Share books with friends who have children.
#5 And grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles…sending a book in the mail to a grandchild, or niece or nephew, or taking a specially picked book with you when you visit, is a great way to show that reading and books are valued in this family. (Mom and Dad, when that happens, your job is to show interest and excitement. Children need to know that their people value books and reading and realize how important it is.)
How do I help my child in reading? READ, READ, READ, and provide good reading material in your home. How about telling us your experience with being read to or reading to young children.