Dr. Jenny Klipp
- Read to and with your children. This shows that you are interested in books too. Be animated, using different voices and facial expressions as you read. Children enjoy ongoing stories. Read chapter books with your children, and you’ll soon find them eager for the next installment.
- Set aside time for reading. Children often feel that they will miss out on something if they sit and read. Determine a time—even five or ten minutes—when the house can be quiet and everyone enjoys a good book. A small investment in a fun chair, pillow, beanbag, or mat can make reading time even more fun for everyone.
- Discuss books. Current reading material (on all levels) makes great dinnertime or travel time conversation. Even the smallest children will look forward to sharing what they are reading and even trying to convince others to read their books.
- Visit the library and local book sales and events. Hear of a famous author nearby? See an advertisement for a library story time? Plan a family outing to meet the author or join a summer book club. Find your child’s interests and encourage him/her to find books on that topic. Children like “ownership,” and an opportunity to choose books they enjoy goes a long way to encourage reading.
- Aid in comprehension and analytical development by asking follow-up questions. Encouraging students to think while they read is vital. This teaches them to be looking for details, analyzing actions and characters, and discerning right and wrong. Help them think deeply by asking them questions such as “Why do you think…?” “Was that a good choice?” “What would you have done?” “What would have happened if…?”
- Trade in movie and video game time for book time while traveling. At times when you can’t read to your children (such as in the car), take time to enjoy books on CD. Many recordings are available at the library or are inexpensive to purchase. Some book recordings even have dramatic elements to help the stories come to life. These are sure to get young people interested in the adventures contained in other books! I know our family has spent quite a bit of time sitting in the driveway finishing a chapter because there was too much suspense to stop!
Reading skills aren’t optional in life, and a love for reading shouldn’t be either.
Let’s work together to instill a love for reading in the hearts of our students.