March 17, 2009

How To Help Your Child Want To Read

Child_with_red_hair_readingImage via Wikipedia

I am a firm believer in not pushing children to do things before they are ready to do so. And I try to balance that with the worry I sometimes feel when my children aren't progressing as quickly as I would like. So I don't shove reading down my childrens' throats. I don't force them to read; that's the fastest way to make a kid hate reading.

With my oldest daughter, she taught herself to read, at three and a half. She has never stopped. My son took longer, he started reading well at around eight. It isn't his favorite pastime, but he reads well enough. My youngest daughter goes back and forth. She will sit and watch Word World, with her red spiral notebook and pause the tv to write the words down. She is teaching herself. We also do Click and Read with her, and Rocket Phonics. I let her go at her own pace, but I always offer to work with her every day.

Most importantly, we do a lot of reading books aloud. I love to read aloud, and the kids love to listen. Also, when I can't do it, older sister jumps in and does it. She read the kids all of the Peter and the Starcatchers series, and also the City of Ember. She is dedicated, and they love it.

Some of the things I do to foster reading:

  • I let the kids read whenever they want.
  • We read aloud
  • regular trips to the library; ours knows us on a first name basis
  • my son reads video games, it improved his reading ten-fold
  • find a subject the kids want to know about, then "strew" books around. They will find them. And read them.
  • let the kids see you reading
  • make books a priority in your home.
    "When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.”
    Desiderius Erasmus

We here at Sweet Schoolin' believe that fostering a love of reading is one of the most important things you can do for a child. Strong reading skills will be with them forever. And if they have a book, they are never alone.

Click and Read
Rocket Phonics
Starfall (a website for beginning readers)
Study Dog
Bob books
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comment:

Dr. Alice said...

Good job on your parenting approach!! I applaud you - it's hard work.

I have another helpful tool/resource for you! Go to We provide professionally illustrated wordless picture books, kids write the story and become authors. We have had MANY testimonials related to kids who struggle as writers as well as turning kids around regarding reading. Once they have written their own book using our scaffolded learning experience, reading becomes a whole different story! :)

Let me know what you think! Thanks.