The best way to get children excited about reading is to read WITH them … the younger the better. As they get older, it will be important for kids to see YOU reading, too. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Make reading a DAILY experience. When a child is very young, it is the sound of your voice, not the words that they love. Reading with a child (even before they are born) helps you and your child bond. discover new things, and create precious memories, TOGETHER.
Create a Family Reading Night. You have a Family Game Night, why not Family Book Night? There are lots of ways to make reading together a lot of fun.
Build Reading into an Activity Your Kid Loves. A Reading Tub® visitor sent us this idea: when you’re watching TV, turn on the subtitles function. It’s an easy, non-threatening way to match something they want (TV) with something you want (reading). "You get used to the subtitles very quickly and it is a big help." Credit for the idea goes to Juliana Lovejoy.
Plan a family adventure to the library. Kids love adventures, so get them involved. Make plans together, to prepare for and then celebrate the first trip to the library. Plan a book party when you get home? Be sure to prepare the kids BEFORE you go. The library is a unique place, and you’ll need to take the time to explain how a library works, just as you explain the dos and don’ts of other places, like church and visiting family and friends.
Mirror Classroom Processes at Home. Reading, like walking, is a skill that is learned, with lots of practice. The more we practice, the more skilled we become. If you can complement the work your child is doing at school, you can maximize his/her learning.
Give Your Child Confidence to Read. Recognizing the letters on a page is only one part of reading. The more crucial part is having the confidence to keep trying, and to learn new words so we can understand what they mean. We learn language by hearing the SPOKEN word, learning to read can be encouraged that same way.
Pick some Award-winning books to read together. Parents, teachers, and librarians can readily find award-winning material that can encourage a child’s love of reading. While the Newbery and Caldecott Medals are the most widely recognized awards for children’s literature, they are by no means the only "premier" awards for children’s books. Anyone interested in finding the best of children’s literature can find an award winner in any given genre, for any given age.
There are book awards programs that recognize achievements across the complete spectrum of children’s books. Children’s literature awards satisfy broader interests and niche audiences. Each year, literacy professionals, reading advocacy groups, private foundations, and companies bestow more than fifty-five national awards. Children’s books win recognition in broad categories, such as best illustrations; in individual genres, like historical fiction; in specific languages, such as Greek; and in every target audience range, from infant to young adult. In addition to the national awards, library media specialists or reading associations in each state sponsor at least one award. Although the library and reading associations facilitate the program, in nearly every case, it is students who select the winners.
To help you in your search, The Reading Tub, Inc. has created two directories. Together, these annotated lists will lead you to more than 150 programs in North America that recognize distinguished works of children’s literature. Share these links with your child’s teacher!
Excerpted, with permission from The Reading Tub.