One Katy mother shares her tips on getting your child to appreciate reading

We all know how important reading is for children. Children who are readers score higher on standardized tests, show a love for literacy, and are usually clearer writers and spellers. There are even studies that show that reading to a child still in the womb is a calming and beneficial practice. Parents of toddlers and pre-readers know the joy children exhibit as they wander through a bookstore or library and choose a book of their very own. My son loves to climb into any family member’s lap and simply say, “Read to me.” Books are one of his favorite hobbies, and I think it’s mainly because both his parents enjoy reading and reading to him.
So, how do you get your child to enjoy reading? Here are some simple ways parents can involve their families in literacy.
1.) Read together on a daily basis. Turn off the TV and find comfortable spots–the couch, comfy pillows on the floor, or outside in a shady spot are good places to start.
2.) Make trips to the library and discount booksellers like Katy Budget Books (2450 Fry Rd., 77084) and The BookWorm Shop (22764 Westheimer Pkwy, 77450). Children of any age can choose some books that look interesting and then narrow that choice to one or two. This also teaches critical thinking. You as a parent can ask some probing questions like, “What do you think this book is about? Who are the main characters? Why does this look like you might like to read it?”
3.) Young children enjoy it when you change your voice to suit different characters. Can you roar like a lion or squawk like a parrot? What does your child think a particular race car would talk like?
4.) Older siblings should be encouraged to read to younger ones. Trust me, this is as enjoyable to watch as a parent as it is for the younger child. Yes, parents can read to toddlers and elementary students, but nothing compares to a big brother or sister giggling and just making reading purely entertaining.
5.) Read and talk to your older children about their literature choices. If you can manage to discuss a book that your child is reading just for fun during the summer, imagine how helpful that will be once school starts up again and they are reading for class. Getting them to delve into plot, characterization, and comprehension skills now will make it easier for them when they don’t have a choice in what novel or play they are assigned.
Don’t despair. Keep reading–you, your spouse, your children–can all find books, magazines, and even comic books that will entertain and educate! What are some of your family’s reading habits. I’d love to hear from you.
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