Your Child and Reading
Reading with your child is one of the most important activities parents and children can share. Children whose families read with them do better in school.
Here are several suggestions to use reading time to build your child's literacy skills, while also keeping it fun for both of you.
- Make reading a part of every day.
- Choose a quiet time for reading to your child, as in before a nap, bedtime, or after dinner.
- Surround your child with books and other print materials.
- Let your child select the book for you to read aloud.
- Choose a special place for family reading.
- Hold the book so that she or he can see the pictures. If possible, also let her or him turn the pages.
- Read with fun in your voice.
- Take time to look at and talk about the pictures. Don't just read the story: talk about it. Let your child point out letters, shapes, colors, and animals.
- Ask your child questions about what you're reading and let your child ask you questions.
- Read it again and again and again.
- Let your child read to you. If he or she is a pre-reader, encourage him to create his own story using the illustrations and his imagination.
- Go to the library often and get your child a library card.
- Show your child the parts of a book. Look at the cover, learn more about the author and illustrator, check to see if there is an index, and so on.
- Take turns reading-you read one page and have your child read the next one.
- Select books on topics that your child is interested in.
- Play word games such as Boggle or Scrabble with your child.
- Make sure your child sees you read. Don't expect reading to be important to your children if they see that it's not important to you.
BookHive: Your Guide to Children's Literature and Books - A searchable collection of hundreds of brief reviews of children's books; also browsable by category.
Children's Picture Book Database - This database contains abstracts of over 5000 picture books for children, preschool to grade 3, and is a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, and students.
Colorin' Colorado - Colorin' Colorado is a web-based service that provides information, activities, and advice for educators, and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs).
Parents' Choice Foundation - This foundation bestows Parents' Choice Awards to "products that meet and exceed standards" set by educators, parents, and children. The website includes current and past winners, as well as topical reading lists and ideas for learning activities.
Reading Rockets - Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.
Recommended Literature (K-12) - This collection of literature for children and adolescents includes classics as well as recently published books. (From the California Department of Education.)
Date last updated: April 20, 2010