9 Tips to Help Young Readers
November 9 is Young Reader's Day and we've put together 9 tips to help parents develop and encourage reading with their young children.
1. Re-read books.
This is not to discourage you from reading new books, but rather to build confidence, fluency and comprehension.
2. Show excitement for trips to the library or bookstore.
If you love to read, one of the best ways to encourage a young reader is to show your enthusiasm! When reading feels like a chore or there's a struggle to read, it can turn even young kids off books at a early age.
3. Designate a reading hour.
Pick one (or more) times during the week to be set aside for leisure reading. This means no phone, computers or TV for kids OR parents.
4. Focus on sounds, not letters.
One good way to practice this is to use letter blocks. For example, combine the S and H blocks and ask them to make the "SH" sound to learn phonemic awareness. Even nonsense words can help by encouraging sound awareness over word recognition at an early age.
5. Talk about the story before, during and after you read a book together.
Reading comprehension is an important part of learning. Ask them what they think will happen next and what the character might be feeling based on their words, actions and facial expression.
6. Encourage writing.
One of the best ways to become a strong reader is to write, and vice versa. Encourage young readers to create their own picture book (with or without your help, depending on their age).
7. Ensure you're reading age/skill-appropriate books.
Librarians are a wonderful resource to help you find books at your child's reading level that also match their interests!
8. Keep books in the car.
Some days mean long waits—in car line waiting to pick up an older child, at the doctor's office or while a sibling attends sports practices. Rather than relying on a smartphone or tablet to pass the time, consider stocking up on books.
9. Attend author readings.
Bookstore and libraries frequently host readings by the author. Kids of all ages get excited to meet the "celebrity" that wrote their favorite books!