a Reader: Tips for Parents
U.S. Department of Education
are a number of steps that parents and other family members can
take to help prepare their young children to become readers and
to support the reading habit once they are in school. These include:
your child a diet of rich language experiences throughout the day.
Talk with your infants and young children frequently in short, simple
sentences. Tell stories, sing songs, recite nursery rhymes or poems,
and describe the world around them to expose them to words. Name
things. Make connections. Encourage your childs efforts to
talk with you.
to read aloud to your children for 30 minutes daily beginning when
they are infants. Ask caring adults to be your childrens daily
reader when you are unavailable.
your childs eyesight and hearing tested early and annually.
If you suspect your child may have a disability, seek help. Evaluations
and assessments are available at no cost to parents. Call the early
childhood specialist in your school system or call the National
Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities at (800)
out child care providers who spend time talking with and reading
to your child, who make trips to the library, and who designate
a special reading area for children.
your childs teacher for an assessment of your childs
reading level, an explanation of the approach the teacher is taking
to develop reading and literacy skills, and ways in which you can
bolster your childs literacy skills at home.
the amount and kind of television your children watch. Seek out
educational television or videos from the library that you can watch
and discuss with your children.
up a special place for reading and writing in your home. A well-lit
reading corner filled with lots of good books can become a childs
favorite place. Keep writing materials such as non-toxic crayons,
washable markers, paints and brushes, and different kinds of paper
in a place where children can reach them.
the public library often to spark your childs interest in
books. Help your children obtain their own library cards and pick
out their own books. Talk to a librarian, teacher, school reading
specialist, or bookstore owner for guidance about what books are
appropriate for children at different ages and reading levels.
are your childs greatest role model. Demonstrate your own
love of reading by spending quiet time in which your child observes
you reading to yourself. Show your child how reading and writing
help you get things done every daycooking, shopping, driving,
or taking the bus.
your own reading skills are limited, consider joining a family literacy
program. Ask a librarian for picture books that you can share with
your child by talking about the pictures. Tell family stories or
favorite folktales to your children.
giving books or magazines to children as presents or as a recognition
of special achievements. Special occasions, such as birthdays or
holidays, can be the perfect opportunity to give a child a new book.
your children with their grandparents and great-grandparents. Encourage
them to read books together, talk about growing up, tell stories,
and sing songs from their generation.
about free readings and other programs at bookstores in your community.
Start Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a
Reader. For more information, visit www.ed.gov