When striving to instill a lifelong love of learning in youngsters, reading should be at the core of your efforts. Reading opens doors, inspires the imagination and provides opportunities throughout life.
Unfortunately, an estimated 93 million U.S. adults read at or below the basic level needed to contribute successfully to society, according to Parent.com. Your child's literacy is a critical skill to start nurturing early so your young learner develops into a healthy and happy adult. That means as a parent or educator, you can give your kids a step up on their future simply by opening a book.
Some kids are naturally drawn to reading and need little encouragement to spend time with the written word. Others may need to be nurtured a bit, but that doesn't mean you can't change a resistant reader into a bookworm with a little effort.
Consider these smart ideas for helping your kids learn to read and appreciate literature of all types:
Make it theme-
Reading themes are a wonderful way to engage readers of any age and skill level. Plus, themes can suit any personality type, so you're sure to capture the attention of even the most resistant reader. For example, spend a week exploring just superhero books. Use holidays and seasons as theme inspiration. Have a kid who loves animals? Spend a month reading books about a favorite creature. Planning an upcoming vacation? Build excitement by reading books written about or set in that destination.
Shake things up with foreign language books
Exposing your child to a world language is easy when you select age-appropriate books in different languages. For young kids, consider dual-language picture books that feature simple words and big, bold images. For mature kids, you may want to explore comic books or easy novels in the language of choice. A good resource for exploring options is the International Children's Digital Library.
Have a parent/child book club
One of the best ways to bond with your child
Make your own books
Crafty kids adore creating, and making a book is an easy project that really gets kids thinking about elements of stories. Even if they don't like to read much, you'll be surprised just how much they enjoy creating their very own book! Simply staple or tape pages together and provide pencils, crayons, markers, etc. If they need help with spelling or creating the story, provide gentle guidance; otherwise, let them lead the way. No matter what, they'll be so proud of the result.
Keep a reading log
Build momentum and show just how much your child has accomplished by maintaining a reading log. You can choose to track books read or reading hours. You might even hang the chart in a high-traffic place like the refrigerator. Once a child hits a big milestone, it's time to celebrate with a new toy or healthy treat!