Tips for family reading

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News, Day Care & Education, That's Entertainment

There is no component of a child's education more important than the child's own parents. How education and literacy is viewed and encouraged (or not encouraged) at home makes a huge difference in a child's success in school. Children with involved, supportive parents who promote literacy and education have a better shot at getting ahead than those whose parents maintain a lackadaisical attitude towards education or, even worse, discourage it completely.

The National Center for Family Literacy has, for the past 12 years, given the Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year award to an educator "who achieves tremendous results in helping families learn together and prepare children for success in school." This year, they've put together a list of the five most important things parents and families can do to get their children on a path to a lifetime of learning.

Perhaps most obvious is that kids copy their parents, so parents need to make time to read for pleasure. Make sure that your kids know you read because you want to, not because you view it as a chore you have to do. I imagine it doesn't really matter what you read, so long as you read something.

Another tip is that parents should make reading an interactive activity. Don't just read to your kids and get it over with, stop and ask them what they think will happen next. This is something I need to work on, especially at bedtime when I'm tired and need to get to work. It's good, also, to tie the story to their life, discussing similar events they've experienced and how the characters in the story might be similar to or different from people they know in real life.

Check out the other tips the NCFL has and be sure to read to your kids as much as possible. "This advice is particularly important in light of a recent National Endowment for the Arts survey, which reported an overall decline of 10 percent for reading literature among all ages," said Sharon Darling, president & founder of NCFL.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.