Promoting Reading At Home

Promote Reading at Home- Ways Parents Can Help

You are your student's first and most important teacher, there are multiple ways that you can help foster the importance of reading at home and in return help your student to become a more confident scholar.

1. Make sure your student sees you reading -  By reading your local newspaper or curling up with a good book, your student will follow your example.  Actions towards reading, speak louder than words.

2. Take  the time to read every day, it  is very important-   Researchers have found that students who spend at least 30 minutes a day reading for fun - whether they read books, newspapers, or magazines - develop the needed skills to become better readers at school.

3. Read aloud to your student.  
 Research shows that this is the most important thing parents can do to help their children become better readers. Here are some tips:

  • Don't stop reading to your children, as they grow older. You will both enjoy the chance to do something together.
  • Set aside some time each day for reading aloud. Even 10 minutes a day can have a big impact. Winding down after a long day in the evening, is a perfect time to spend together reading your favorite book.

4. Use your local newspaper to encourage your child to read.  Try a scavenger hunt!  Give your child a list of things to find in today's newspaper. Here are some ideas:

  • A map of the United States.
  • A picture of your child's favorite athlete.
  • The temperature in the city where a family member lives.
  • Three words that begin with "w".
  • A movie that is playing at a nearby theater.

5. Map it Out - It’s important to provide a variety of fiction and non-fiction reading. A fun way to do this is to get a map and show them the way from your house to the grocery store or another familiar destination. Have your student write out the directions, street by street, and then read them to you as you walk or drive to the store – like a living GPS!     No map?  No problem, have your child use their mobile device to retrieve directions from MapQuest or Google Maps, have them read you the directions until you reach your destination.

6. Give books as gifts- Then find a special place for your children to keep their own library.

7. Make reading a privilege-
 Say, "You can stay up 15 minutes later tonight if you read in bed."

8. If you are not a good reader, you can still encourage your children- 
As your children learn to read, ask them to read to you. Talk about the books your children have read. Ask a friend or relative to read aloud to your children.

9. Encourage a wide variety of reading-  fiction, informational books, magazines, short stories, poems, picture books, puzzles, comics, how-to, etc. In addition make books and magazines easily accessible. Place them within easy reach- in family rooms, by the bed, in the car. Install a bed lamp in your child’s room. Make reading unavoidable.

10. Follow your child’s interests
Discover what topics your child likes and use books and magazines to open that world to him or her. Kids like to explore.

 11. Stop and reflect- Talk before, during and after reading. Before: What do you think this will be about? During: What’s going to happen next? After: Did anything in this remind you of yourself?   As your student gets older and is reading on their own, ask them about their book, what's happening, what's their favorite part, favorite character, and author?

 12.  Encourage your student to read for pleasure-   Life gets busy and so do our students.  All children need space to read, write and think. The more children read, and enjoy what they are reading, the more fluent readers they will become. 

13. If possible, subscribe to a variety of educational magazines- The great diversity of topics explored by magazines allows your student to discover new interests and expand existing ones.  Wonderful examples are Scholastic Choices, Science News, Discover, ScienceWorld, Smithsonian, National Geographic, World, and Careers & College, to just list a few.

As adults, we can help to foster the importance of reading and the enjoyment of it as well.

Happy Reading! 

(Adapted from Marilyn Lopes' work as an Extension Specialist, Family Life Education Cape Cod Cooperative Extension University of Massachusetts)