Encouraging your child to read at home doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. Taking your child to the local library or book store to pick out books is a great way to start a “reading at home” program. Children should pick books that they are interested in so that it can be a positive, enjoyable experience. This can include both non-fiction and fiction novels. Before heading out, here are some tips on picking the right books that will motivate your child to read and enhance the learning process.
If your child tends to select one topic by one author, encourage them to branch out by making suggestions based on similar authors or similar topics. While reading a series of books can be fun for kids, they also need to learn to read different styles of writing and subject matter. For example, if your child really likes reading Judy Blume books, you may suggest that they try reading a book by Beverly Cleary. If your boy likes reading about trucks and cars, you might suggest reading a book about railroads. A great resource to find books to expand their reading would be amazon.com. You can make this a family activity where you look up the book a child really liked reading on Amazon. Then you can go through the section called “customers who bought this book also bought…” and you can see similar books. Here is the example for Judy Blume.
Further researching books online can be helpful before heading out to the library or store. Lexile.com provides a comprehensive search based on your child’s reading lexile or grade level and area of interest. Results are displayed including the lexile, title, author, summary, and book cover. This website also includes a wealth of information about helping children to read.
Your child should be choosing books that are challenging, but not so difficult that they will struggle while reading. A great tip is while you are at the library or store, open the book to a random page in the middle. Have your child read the page silently and hold up a finger each time they run into a word they do not know on one page. If they reach 5 words, the book is too hard at this point for the child to benefit from reading on their own. You could select that book as one that is read together or set aside for the future.
Article By Laura VanHellemont
Photo By J. McPherskesen