Sliding into Reading
- Follow the words with your finger from left to right as you read them.
- Read books your child chooses, even if you have read them many times before!
- Point out key words in the story and explain words that children may not know.
- Ask a lot of questions like, "What's happening now?" "What do you think will happen next?" "Where did he go?" "What is she doing?"
- Answer your child's questions, even if they interrupt the story.
- Encourage your child to look at the pictures for clues to the story .
- Put aside a book if your child isn't interested, and pick another one.
- Allow time after reading to talk about the book, and invite your child to re-read parts of the story with you.
The Merry-Go-Round of Books
- Reading is hard! Encourage your child to try, even if it's not right every time.
- Practise letter sounds together. Practise writing and reading letters and words.
- When you get to a word your child doesn't know, look together for clues in the pictures that might provide the answer.
- If your child has trouble reading a word, skip over it, read the rest of the sentence, and try to determine what word might make sense.
- Choose books that rhyme, that repeat familiar phrases, or that have a predictable story.
- Applaud your child's efforts! Don't dwell on mistakes, and give plenty of encouragement. Every new word your child learns is a step toward reading and deserves your attention and praise.
A Jungle Gym for the Imagination
- Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and teachers to share titles of favorite books.
- Look for lists of award-winning or recommended books for children.
- Check the book review sections of newspapers and magazines for new children's books.
- Choose books on subjects you know your child is interested in.
- Choose books that have a strong story and an ending that is easy for a child to guess.
- Introduce books with poems, songs, and rhythm.
- Experiment with different kinds of books and offer variety (but keep old favorites around as well)
The Best Playground in Town
- Make library visits a regular activity that your child can look forward to.
- Get a library card for yourself and your child (even a three- or four-year-old). Children love the feeling of having their own card.
- Attend library story times (including evening story hours for working parents).
- Guide your child in choosing books, but remember that children should be allowed to choose books, too.
- Use the card catalogue or computer with your child to look up book titles, authors, and favorite topics.
- Set a good example by taking good care of books and returning them on time.
Be a Reading Role Model
- Expand their vocabulary.
- Appreciate the value of books and reading.
- Understand new ideas and concepts.
- Learn about the world around them.
Explore Reading With Your Child
- Keep books, magazines, and newspapers in your home to give your child constant exposure to reading possibilities.
- Tape label names on objects in your home such as bed, doll, table, or chair. This can help your child begin to recognize letters and words.
- Help your child see how people use reading and writing through daily events such as reading a recipe while preparing a meal, reading aloud cards and letters, and writing lists or cheques.
- Work on your home computer. This can show your child a variety of information in many different forms.
- Outside the home, point out signs, labels, and logos to your child. This can encourage early attempts at reading. Even the youngest child will quickly begin to identify familiar signs and places.
- Visit libraries, bookstores, newsstands, and other places where books and other reading materials are found. Ask for help in choosing books your child will like.
The Time for Books is All the Time
- Keep a library in your child's room to teach him or her that books are an important part of your home environment. If possible, include colorful picture books, interactive books with exciting features, nursery rhymes and fairy tales, joke or riddle books, or homemade books.
- Select a special reading place like a rocking chair, a soft rug, or a comfortable couch to create a warm and inviting reading environment. Whenever possible, hold your child in your lap as you read. Let him or her hold the book and turn the pages.
- Familiarize yourself with the book before reading it. This will make you a better storyteller. You can make the reading experience special for your child by taking time to ask and answer questions, reading slowly and clearly, holding the book so your child can see the pictures and words, and making the story interesting with different character voices and sounds.
These Tips are from brochures by the International Reading Association.