November is Family Literacy Month! During this month, families are encouraged to read together. When parents and caregivers read with their children, they create stronger bonds and foster a love of reading.
That's a lot of pressure to put on parents and caregivers to read with the young children in their lives. Over my time working at the library, I have helped many families to enrich their reading time. Below are tips I frequently share with parents and caregivers who need a little extra help with reading with children.
5 Tips for Reading with Children:
Let Your Child Pick the Book. Encourage your child to select books they want to read. Nurture their curiosity and don’t stress about the grade level of the book. Reading is reading! And yes, this applies to comics and graphic novels.
Make It Fun. Read with enthusiasm. Make silly voices for characters or act out scenes from the book. By making reading fun, you are keeping your child’s focus on the book, and you’ll have as much fun as they are.
Talk About the Book. Don’t be afraid to stop during reading to talk about the book. Point out details in the illustrations. Ask thinking questions. This does not mean giving your child a pop quiz. Instead ask children to make predictions about the story, “What do you think is going to happen next?” or ask hypothetical questions, “Would you eat green eggs and ham?”. To really get the conversation going, try reading a picture book without any text. Check out this Wordless Wonders, opens a new window list of picture books.
Be patient. When your child is reading to you, be encouraging and patient. Help them sound out words, but don’t let them struggle for too long. Always provide encouragement. Praise them for sounding out difficult words.
Visit the Library. Make a trip to the library part of your routine. Explore the shelves together, attend a fun library program, get some great reading recommendations from our staff, sign up for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, opens a new window, and take books home to read.
Those moments spent reading together as a family create positive experiences that inspire children to become lifelong readers and library users.