Parents play a major role in their children’s desire to read. Taking the time to read with your children sends a very clear message – that your children and reading are important to you. If you’re not certain where to begin, look at the following suggestions. If you feel you would like more help, contact your children’s teachers.
- Overcome the first obstacle – find a book related to your children’s interests or related to something happening in their lives. (Who wants to read something they do not like or to which they are unable to relate?)
- Before you begin reading, ask your children to look at the pictures and the title. Look for clues that might hint as to what the story is about. Remember, predictions mean your children are thinking about the book.
- Read to them. This is not about teaching them to read – it is about teaching them to love the stories they hear and want to read them themselves.
- Don’t be afraid to stop and ask questions like, “What are you thinking?’ or “What surprised you?” Their responses let you know that they are listening and thinking!
- Listen to their responses and ask them to further explain their ideas with questions like “Why do you think it happened?” or “Does this remind of anything else you have read or have experienced?” You are preparing them for a more complex way of thinking that they will need in their future.
- Enjoy the experience. This is an investment in your children and their futures.