Here are a dozen tips for nurturing your growing reader:
1. Read with your children at least once every day.
2. Make sure they have plenty to read. Take them to the library regularly, and keep books and other reading materials in their reach. Many books are available for free reading through online websites or the local library.
3. Notice what interests your child, and help find books about those things.
4. Respect your child's choices. There's nothing wrong with reading the same type of book over and over if it's what keeps a young reader turning the pages.
5. Praise your children's efforts and newly acquired skills.
6. Help your child build a personal library. Children's books, new or used, make great gifts. Designate a bookcase, shelf or box where your children can keep their books.
7. Check up on your children's progress. Listen to them as they explore the pictures and text in a book. Listen to them read aloud, read what they write, and don't hesitate to inquire about their progress in our classroom.
8. Go places and do things with your children to build their background knowledge and vocabulary, and to give them a basis for understanding what they read.
9. Tell stories. It's a fun way to teach values, pass on family history and build your children's listening and thinking skills.
10. Be a reading role model. Let your children see you read, and share some interesting things with them that you have read about in books, newspapers, or magazines.
11. Continue reading aloud to older children even after they have learned to read by themselves.
12. Encourage writing along with reading. Ask children to sign their artwork, add words to your shopping list, take messages, and make their own books and cards as gifts.