If you're wondering why some children grow up to become successful readers and possess a love for reading, the answer is simple. Their parents have made a commitment to their reading development.
Children can begin a journey to reading success and enjoyment when parents commit to:
- reading to children as young as six months old. Begin reading when they are barely sitting up and their eyes are beginning to focus. Select simple, colorful board books and read them aloud with expression. Point to pictures, identify characters or animals and talk about the story.
- a schedule for reading aloud until children are independent readers. Modeling good reading allows children to hear reading that is fluid and full of expression. Parents should allow children to select books as well as select books themselves. When parents introduce new books, this helps children develop a sense of the kinds of books they like.
- to making visits to the library until children are old enough to go there on their own. Show children visiting the library will become a part of their lives. Help them choose books to read or have read aloud. If children are older talk about the books they've chosen. Parents should select books themselves and talk about what they're reading as well.
- to taking their children to books stores in their strollers, through the elementary, middle and high school years. Buy them a drink or snack, and browse the colorful displays and shelves full of books. Both parents and children should leave with a book.
- to reading themselves. Children naturally emulate their parent's behavior. When parents possess a love for reading their children usually do as well. Parent should always have a novel they're reading and set aside time for "read ins" with their children.
When parents commit to their children's reading education, this nurtures reading development and an enjoyment of books. And, all the while those parents have had a great time enjoying great books themselves.