I have always loved reading and want to cultivate the same love into my children. Here are some ways that will help you to build strong reading habits into your children.
1. Be a good role model. By letting your child see you read and sharing your interest and excitement in a good book of your own, your child will get just as excited about discovering new books on his own.
2. Read every day. Take time each day to read with your children. It’s not always easy to find time to read, but by incorporating it into your daily routine, like bedtime, reading will become a regular habit.
3. Take advantage of reading opportunities around you. Reading doesn’t only have to involve books. You can incorporate reading into daily activities. For example, when you’re walking or driving around, ask your child to read the street signs or signs on the shops. When you’re at the grocery store, ask him to read the labels on the products.
4. Choose age-appropriate books. One way to check a book’s difficulty level is using the “five-finger rule.” Have your child read a page in a book. Count all the words that she does not know. When she gets to the end of the page with less than five, the book is age-appropriate. Any more than that, and the book is too difficult.
5. Combine books with activities. Make your child’s favorite book come to life with an activity. For example, you can make a pizza—either a craft pizza using felt or construction paper or make an actual pizza that your whole family can enjoy—after reading Pete’s a Pizza. Check out my ideas for book activities.
6. Let your child choose his own books. Let your child choose books on topics that interest him. Your child will be more engaged if they’re reading something that interest them and it will make reading a more positive experience.
7. Read aloud to your child. Reading aloud to your child starting from infant will help them develop a love for stories. When your child starts to learn how to read, read aloud by alternating reading pages with each other. You can read one page and he can read the next.
8. Ask your child questions about the book. This is a good way to make sure your child comprehends the book and is engaged in the story. Some questions you can ask your child are:
What is the story about?
Who are the main characters?
When and where did the story take place?
What did you learn from reading this book?
What was your favorite part of the book?