Various Ways to Support Reading at Home

1.  Read aloud to your child... OFTEN!

Children will learn to become better readers and will learn to appreciate reading if they read with adults. Reading aloud to children is such a powerful way to help foster a child's love and appreciation for reading. By reading aloud to your child, they will learn the flow of language and how to add voice to parts with dialogue.  And don't be afraid to TALK about the book with your child.  Make them question, make them wonder, make them predict!

2.  Have your child "catch" you snuggled up with a good read!

The more your child sees you reading, the more they will want to take part in the same activity.  Whether it be a gripping action novel, romance novel, newspaper, magazine or even that pesky credit card bill that comes each month, make sure your child realizes the importance of reading.

3.  Make sure your child is reading EVERY day(including weekends)

As school policy, we require children to complete 15-20 minutes of reading every night that they have homework, which includes Monday through Thursday.  However, it would be beneficial for children to read on Friday nights as well as on Saturday and Sunday nights too.  Try to make it part of your daily routine. And if children have trouble with the 15-20 minute requirement, try having them read a certain number of pages or a chapter.  That, sometimes, can be more concrete for children and make them feel more accomplished as a reader.

4.  Get creative with print and items to read

Reading doesn't always have to be about reading picture or chapter books.  Reading is all around us. Reading can be a great deal of things such as:
  • reading a recipe in a cookbook - your child can help you read the recipe and cook the meal
  • reading street signs or road maps while driving
  • reading articles in a magazine, newspaper or even online
  • reading comic books or comic strips
  • reading menus at restaurants - have them read it to choose their meal
  • Put your television on "closed caption" and turn off the sound and have students read the captions to figure out what is happening on their favorite cartoon
Just remember that reading should be fun and a lot of times, it's used to gain information about something going on around us!

5.  Encourage your children to find a "special" reading spot

Children love nooks and small, cozy spaces.  Take some time to talk to your child about the best place to read and try to re-create that space for them.

6.  Have a "Book Talk"

Sitting around the dinner time is when this works the best, but if you're a family that eats on the run, then a "book talk" can be done in the car, on a walk or any other time when conversation comes up.  A "book talk" is just like it sounds, you and your child can talk about books or anything else that is being read.  Talk to your child about books they're reading or something interesting they read.  In addition, it's important for you, as their parent or guardian, to share what you've read lately.

7.  Invest in their Interests

Take the time to find out what your child likes to read about.  You probably already know their interests and hobbies, so try to help them find reading material that supports their interests and hobbies.  For example, if they love sports, help them find books that are based around sports or are biographies of great athletes.  There are many magazines now that have created "kids" versions such as National Geographic for Kids, Times for Kids, and Boy's Life Magazine, just to name a few.