Just for Parents

  • This section contains information for helping your child succeed as a reader.  

    It’s Never Too Early to Foster a Love of Reading
    Begin reading to your child at birth.
    Let your baby play with the book.
    If the baby sometimes doesn’t seem interested, put the book away and try again another time.
    Raising a reader takes time and patience.
    Be animated. Use different voices and facial expressions as you read.
    Make it fun! Choose books that use word repetition, rhymes, and predictable text.
    Decide on a regular time to read each day; even five or ten minutes gets children ready to read on their own.
    Before reading the book together, have your child take a “picture walk” through the book and make predictions about the story.
    Let your child turn the pages and point to words as you read.
    Encourage a love of words by playing rhyming and word games, singing silly songs, or writing stories together.
    Satisfy Your Child’s Curiosity Choose books that support your child’s interests, from dinosaurs to wizards.
    Reread your child’s favorite books whenever asked.
    After several retellings, ask your child to tell you the story.
    Involve your child in the reading by asking questions! Ask “what” questions; avoid questions that require a simple “yes” or “no” answer. You might ask, “What do you think will happen next?” Remember to give your child time to think about the question and respond.
    Take your child to the library to check out books and attend story hours.
    If your child shows an interest in a picture either by talking about it or pointing to it, follow up immediately by asking questions and letting your child answer.
    Most important, have fun reading to your child!
    Copyright © 2006 Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
    Reading at Home
    Family members who read to and with children foster their children’s literacy by increasing understanding of stories, enhancing oral language, and building vocabulary.
    Use the following routine to guide families in reading with their children.
    Create a Special Reading Area:
    Talk with families about finding or creating a place in their home that is a comfortable, quiet spot for reading.
    Collect Books:
    Suggest that families gather books, newspapers, and magazines and place them on a table or bookshelf in their special reading place.
    Schedule a Quiet Reading Time:
    Encourage parents to set aside time every day for reading. Even small amounts of time reading together are worthwhile. Sharing a book for ten or fifteen minutes goes a long way to promoting a love of reading.
    Talk About What You Read:
    Suggest that family members look for opportunities to talk with their children about books and other print material and share what they are reading.
    Reread Favorite Books:
    Tell adults to expect their children to have favorite books and to say, “Read it again.” Children love to hear books with rhyme, rhythm, and repetition read to them over and over again.
    Read Books That Last for Days:
    Children enjoy continuous stories, and they are eager for the next installment. Encourage adults to read chapter books to their children.
    Tips for Reading with Children:
    Send home a list of possible ways that families and children can read together.
    • Read aloud to your child. • Have your child chime in on repeated phrases or sentences. • Read alternate pages of a book. • Read silently side by side.
    Burns, Susan M., Peg Griffin, and Catherine E. Snow, eds. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading

    doc More Tips for Fostering a Reading Attitude (DOC )



    doc How Parents Can Help Pre-Readers (DOC )