Saturday, May 11, 2013

6 Tips for Parents Who Want Their Kids to Read

teaching children to read
Image courtesy of Ambro/
This list is inspired by Richard Peck, an avid proponent of reading and highly respected writer for children.

"I read because one life isn't enough, and in the page of a book I can be anybody."
~Richard Peck 
  1. Start early and read aloud to children as often as possible. Some begin reading to their babies before they are born. Continue even after they have learned to read for themselves.
  2. Encourage memorizing short passages of books and poems.
  3. Play word games with your kids to increase their vocabulary and yours.
  4. Model reading to your children. Let them see you reading books, magazines and newspapers.
  5. Avoid saying, "My child just isn't into reading." There are books for every field of interest. Be an encourager not a discourager.
  6. Be wary of labels like "gifted" or "accelerated." They may limit you or your child's outlook. Help your child learn that reading can help them achieve or be whatever they aspire to.
Case Studies
My mother's dad loved words. He would add funny sounds to words and twist them to be non-sensical.  It made an impression on us. My mother, although not college educated, respected language and words as a result. She constantly corrected misspoken words, making sure we communicated proper English. That love of words stuck with me.

When our son was small, we read to him at bedtime. He looked forward to it and acquired a love for reading as a result. In high school he went beyond the required reading list and voluntarily read classics, such as Moby Dick, as well as current best-sellers like Michael Crichton's The Lost World. He's still an avid reader at 31.

My brother is a self-taught mechanical engineer. With only a high school diploma, he has become a very successful engineering consultant boasting many clients and patents to his credit. Achieving all this through books he read.

As they say, readers are life-long learners.

What tips can you add for getting kids to read?

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