My daughter, Mary, is a voracious reader and nothing pleases me more than to hear her talk excitedly about a new book that she’s reading. When her brother, Ethan, was younger he enjoyed reading Choose Your Own Adventure books with my dad. Say it out loud with me: reading is a GIFT you give your child.
Colorin Colorado, a bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners explains the importance of child literacy:
“By giving your child the opportunity to read, you are giving them the opportunity to become stronger readers and students. The gift of reading may start with a simple book or story, but its rewards will be discovered years later when an adult remembers his favorite story as a child, succeeds in achieving her goals, and remembers story time as a part of the day that he/she would look forward to. The gift of reading lasts so much longer than the holidays — it truly is the gift of a lifetime, and is one of the most special things you can share with your children.”
Inspiring our children is easier than you might think!
- Share conversations with your child over meal times and other times when you are together. Children learn words more easily when they hear them spoken often.
- Introduce new and interesting words at every opportunity.
- Read together every day. Spend time talking about stories, pictures, and words.
- Be your child’s best advocate. Keep informed about your child’s progress in reading and ask the teacher about ways you can help.
- Be a reader and a writer. Children learn habits from the people around them.
- Visit the library often. Story times, computers, homework help, and other exciting activities await the entire family.
- Get involved in your community! The NIFL has a Literacy Directory you might find helpful: http://literacydirectory.org/
Reading can (and should) be enjoyable for every child. As a mother, I’ve seen first-hand with my own children how much a child can love to read, if given the right tools.