Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In the spirit of blogging, I'm posting an article I wrote for our school's newsletter

The Best Way to Become a Better Reader is to (you guessed it) READ!

Do you feel like it’s a battle to get your reluctant reader to sit down and read a book for twenty minutes nightly? Chances are, he or she is not reading because he or she hasn’t found a book that they LIKE to read. I’m sure you have heard from teachers in the past that the best way to get better at reading is, by, well, reading. Here are a few other tips to help your child enjoy reading at home.

1. Choose books that children enjoy. Have conversations about your child’s interests on the way home or during any downtime. Make trips to the library on the weekend and pursue those interests. Books don’t have to be a certain level to be enjoyed. If a book is too hard, practice reading by alternating reading lines and help guide your child to the right word.

2. Make reading comfortable. Make sure there is a comfortable spot at home away from distractions like TV or video game systems. Fill this spot with pillows and a bookshelf.

3. Make reading a priority. Just like homework, there should happen nightly at an assigned time, preferably before television and/or before bedtime.

4. Wind down with a book. Story time is my favorite way to end the day, and a perfect way to say goodnight to your child.

5. Understand the Importance of Reading. Have conversations with your child that include reasons why you read today. You can start with simple things like “I read the newspaper” or “I wanted to see how to get home from work faster” and lead up to more complicated things. Share the titles you are reading for fun. Children are great mimes. If they see that reading is important to you, they will follow.

Having trouble choosing that first good book? Here a few great children’s books grades K-2. For a complete list of recommendations, go to www.ReadWriteThink.org and find “parent and afterschool resources.” Then find “Help a child choose a Book.” The complete list is found here.

1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
2. The Mitten by Jan Brett
3. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch
4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
5. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
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