For many kids, reading doesn't come easily. Some kids have trouble making the connection
between letters and their sounds. Other kids have not yet found a story that interests
them and shows just how fun reading can be.
For all kids, though, knowing letters, sounds, and words are important skills for
learning throughout life.
Read with your kids often, and try these other simple ways to help them become
excited about reading:
Start with your child's picks. Kids are more likely to read something
that interests them. For example, comics or joke books can be a fun pick for your
child. A comic book can help kids understand that events take place in order because
stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They also help build vocabulary and
show that books can be fun to look at. Once your child is comfortable with reading,
you can encourage other options with a variety of challenging content.
Read and reread. Many kids reach for the same books over and over
again. That's not only OK, it's a good thing! Repetition helps kids learn the text
and in time read it with confidence. Each new reading of the book also may help them
notice something new and understand the story a little better. And that positive experience
can inspire kids to try new books.
Read aloud. Reading aloud to your kids helps them build their
vocabulary and introduces new facts and ideas. You also show that you enjoy reading
for fun, and help them connect sounds with letters on the page. Reading aloud provides
time together that you'll all enjoy.
Create opportunities to read and write beyond the pages. Provide
kids with many chances to read every day. Write notes and leave them on your child's
pillow, in a lunchbox, or in a pocket. Ask friends and relatives to send postcards,
letters, e-mails, or text messages. Leave magnetic letters and words on the fridge,
and you may find your child also creating words, sentences, and stories.
On car/bus/train trips or errands, play word games that build language
skills. You might try "I Spy" ("I spy something that starts with an 'a' ...")
or games where you pick a category (like "food") and everyone has to name foods that
begin with a certain letter. Kids often enjoy reading the signs they see while outside
(like those on restaurants and stores, plus road signs and billboards).
Sometimes electronic books (e-books) can help encourage reading.
When your kid becomes interested in a book, regardless of the format, help make connections
between the story and your child's life. Start conversations that build a love of
reading and learning.
Get help if you're worried. If you're concerned about your child's
ability or willingness to read, get help. Talk to your child's doctor or teacher.
They may be able to suggest ways to help your child become an excited reader.