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Little Readers: Encouraging Your Children to Read

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

So the kiddies are back to school (or will be soon), and they are excited as can be! They have all new clothes, a new teacher, and are making new friends to share their year with! What they aren't necessarily excited about is the homework and reading that is associated with going back to school.

Although no one looks forward to homework, children can be encouraged to enjoy reading. When children are encouraged properly, their reading lists will fly by and no longer be considered a part of their homework load. For early elementary students, their reading lists just need to be books that they have gone through, not specific material. If they enjoy reading, filling the list will be a piece of cake!

To start your child off in the right direct, set a good example. Our children like to emulate us as much as possible: when your children can see you reading for pleasure, they hopefully will choose to read for fun, too. You don't need to get into big, heavy hardcover novels to show your children that you read; read anything! You can even read some of your child's books.

Have as many options available to them as possible. You don't need to buy a roomful of expensive, new books to provide your blossoming student with options: bring your child to the library and let them pick out all of the books that look interesting to them. Although children may only take out a couple books at a time on their library cards, usually adults are allowed to take out a much higher volume on their own.

Incorporate your technology into your child's reading. Many people today have iPads, iPhones, tablets, and laptops. Most devices have interactive children's book applications. When you allow children to work with the technology (Which they probably are already better at then we are) they learn to enjoy what they are reading even more.
An easy way to get children into reading is as simple as reading to them and with them. Many times children are sheepish about reading because they are not comfortable in their new skills. When you read aloud to them, you allow them to become comfortable with the literature and learn the words as they go.

Once you have been sharing reading time for a while, and they become more comfortable with their skills, take turns reading. The more a child reads aloud comfortably the better they will become at it.
Last, always view books and reading time as positive times or rewards. If you child isn't ready to sit down and read, or is skipping pages to finish a story faster, that is alright! This is their reward time; let them choose a better time to read and a story that they have more interest in.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Little Readers: Encouraging Your Children to Read

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