Children must learn to read before they can read to learn. How can parents help their children become readers? Here are some suggestions:
- Read at bedtime. From the time your children are very young, get in the habit of reading aloud at bedtime. If you haven’t started this tradition, it’s not too late to begin.
- Enjoy the library together. Take your child to the public library regularly. Together, explore all the resources available. Spend some time looking at children’s biographies one week. On your next visit, see what books are available on outer space . . . or dolphins . . . or ancient Egypt.
- Encourage your children to write. Look for ways to motivate children to write. Leave a note on the refrigerator and ask your child to write back. Buy your child a journal.
- Play rhyming games. Young children learn a lot as they think about rhyming words. They focus on the sounds inside words and start to hear the sounds that letters make. Choose a word, and have a contest to see who can think of the greatest number of rhyming words.
Remember—practice makes perfect. Young readers need lots of practice to polish their skills. Keep reading material around your house. Have your child read the recipes when you cook. Finally, be sure you have a regular reading time every day.
Source: "Every Child Reading: An Action Plan,"