by Helen Perelman, author of the uber-sweet Candy Fairies Series
Everyone agrees that reading to your child is beneficial, but here are some tips on how to make your child a book loving reader.
Raise a Reader
1) The “B Routine”
Long before babies can understand stories, the pictures and your voice stimulate them. Get in the habit of reading before the last bottle and use the “B routine” – bath, books, bottle, bed. As children grow, the routine will alter slightly (no bottles!) but the B routine is still useful.
2) Together Time
Snuggling with a book is adds to the love! Point to words as you read with nonreaders and take time to ask questions. Use the artwork on the page to facilitate discussion as well as anticipate what might happen next in the story. Associating text with pictures is a pre-reading skill that will help readers as they grow into independent readers.
3) Take Turns
“You read to me. I will read to you.” Share the beginning readers with your kids. You can read a page and then they can try. Always point to the word so the child can follow along.
4) High Interest
Let your child pick books herself. If she finds a character that she likes, explore the series and let her delve into that world. If your son loves cars, get books that feature cars. High interest chapter books ignite enthusiasm and love of reading even in the youngest reader.
No hiding under the covers! Ten minutes of flashlight time is important alone time with a book. At first, my kids were just looking at pictures. Now they read at bedtime. Warning – sometimes it’s hard to get the flashlight away if it’s a good book. Have cute bookmarks on hand…and know that your kids just might become a book lover!
Bio: Helen Perelman is the author of Candy Fairies, a series for 7-10 year olds and several other titles for young readers. She lives in New York City with her husband and twin seven year old readers. Visit her at www.helenperelman.com. Follow her Candy Fairies on Facebook and on Twitter
More Ideas for Raising a Reader
You’ll want to read my book, Book Love: Help Grow Your Child From Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader. I share strategies for all parents, not just parents of reluctant readers and give you activities and ideas from alphabet learning to phonics to fluency.
“Utilizing all forms of media, my passion has always been to get children to not only learn to read, but to LOVE to read. Melissa has tapped into how to create life long readers by transforming their reading into exciting & passionate adventures..not chores. I wish that every episode of Super Why! could come with this book for parents! “– Angela Santomero, creator of Super Why!, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Blues Clues.
“I love Book Love! It’s a terrific resource for families. Even though I don’t have young readers in my family anymore, I was still itching to try out all the fun and creative ideas in each chapter. There are so many helpful tips and great ideas for getting a reluctant reader engaged with books. Anyone who wants to create a family culture of reading should read this book.” – Anne Mazer, children’s book author and mom
“BOOK LOVE is absolutely swimming with suggestions that are easy, fun, creative and inexpensive. Parents of reluctant or struggling readers will find this an indispensable trove.” – Jean Reidy, Author of Too Purpley! and other children’s books