Sue Park

Helping Your Child Read At Home

   A child that scores in the top 90% in school reads almost as much in one day outside of school as a child that scores in the low 10% in school reads in an entire year. Pretty amazing statistic! But we all face that challenge of motivating a child to read that doesn’t want to read, or having an enthusiastic reader that may not think deeply about what they read. Here are some tips:

  • Keep up a good routine – At least 30 minutes a day reading -- whether they protest or not.
  • Join in during the reading time (get a blanket, snuggle up and both of you read a book).
  • Shared reading – read a page and then have your child read a page (or switch off paragraphs).
  • Stop and talk often about the book – try to stay on topic, but relate it to your life or their life, discuss the images in your mind that you might see -- make sure they are “getting it”.
  • If your child prefers to read independently, read the book before and then when you are together (in the car, making dinner) have a casual book discussion. Be enthusiastic about the book.
  • Explore favorite books together – try to find a series that catches their interest. There is a fine line between too hard or easy and too boring. Work with your school librarian or teacher for recommendations or use the attached links to find books at their level. 
  • Make a sticker reward chart – list series and keep a tally of reading.
  • Read a great book aloud -- make them fall in love with a story (they could read a bit to you if it is not too hard.)
  • Be enthusiastic about reading in your family. Discuss articles in the newspaper, discuss good books, and show that you are all reading.

Turn off the TV and video games. They will get all the skills that they need in our high-tech world without these everyday. Of all the things in a busy Lamorinda’s child’s life, make these activities be on the bottom of the list – or better yet only allowed on weekends when it is raining.