Scholastic, the publisher of so many children’s books, offers seven tips to increase reading opportunities for children on its website, http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/more-reading-resources/reading-tips-parents. I have paraphrased them below.
- Label everything in your home with masking tape or Post-it notes. This is a great way for young children to learn vocabulary, including long words such as refrigerator and calculator.
- Find a book that is “just right” for your child. Have the child read the front cover, the back cover, and the first page of a book. If the child can read all the words, the book might be okay or it might be too easy. If the child can’t read five of the words, the book is probably too hard.
- Teach the child how to read a street map of your neighborhood. Reading diagrams, maps and graphs is an important skill in Common Core curriculum. Have the child translate the diagram into word directions. “Go down the front steps. Turn left. Walk to the end of the street. Turn left onto Delaware Avenue and keep walking until you get to Lincoln Park. Be careful crossing the street.”
- Read greeting cards together. Go to the grocery store or drug store’s birthday card section. Read the cards together and vote which one is best.
- Take pictures during an outing or vacation. Later, ask the child to create captions for each photo and gather them into a photo album. Or make a booklet of photos and words.
- Read the Sunday comics with your child. Cut out good ones to hang on the refrigerator. Reread them. [Inference can be learned from this activity, looking at facial expressions where words are not used.]
- Help your child write a letter to his favorite author. Most authors have a website which will accept emails. Or you can find a mailing address on the publisher’s website.