How to jumpstart your child's readingEnsuring your child’s success this school year can be achieved by increasing their reading habits. Examining and learning about virtually anything in the world begins by first learning how to read. It’s a skill that develops with time, but without proper direction, kids may not realize its importance.
By: Heidi Bounphithack, Grand Forks Herald
Ensuring your child’s success this school year can be achieved by increasing their reading habits. Sound easy, but if they’re not avid readers, it may take more persuasion and coaching. However, in the end it will all be worth it, and here is why:
Examining and learning about virtually anything in the world begins by first learning how to read. It’s a skill that develops with time, but without proper direction, kids may not realize its importance.
“If you can learn to read, you can learn anything else,” said Laci Cable of Grand Forks. She explained that people cannot learn to read through math and science, but they can learn math and science through reading.
Keep a healthy supply of reading material
Children learn what they live, so this school year, make reading a priority for the whole family.
“When kids see parents reading, they are more likely to read to themselves,” said Aaron Stefanich, children’s librarian at Grand Forks Public Library.
So, start by keeping a healthy supply of reading material around the house.
The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, offered through United Way, sends a monthly book to children in Grand Forks County from birth to age 5.
And feel free to vary the selection by including magazines, newspapers, comics, audiobooks and eBooks.
Being in the presence of books and others who read makes the experience more enjoyable it becomes habit-forming.
Stefanich believes interacting with others who read is just as important as the act of reading itself because it allows kids and adults to establish a common interest toward literature.
Explore books based on a variety of topics
Part of the enjoyment in reading stems from the different shapes, illustrations, colors and interaction involved.
For a child’s imagination, being creative can be as simple as changing a character’s name to match a family member’s.
Expand learning and imagination by exploring books based on a variety of topics. Quick reading options are great when time is limited. Joke books, poems and animal almanacs can make kids of all ages eager to turn the page.
Laci Cable and her 4-year-old daughter, Addison, were spending time at the public library. She believes reading is an essential part to a child’s development and has actively read to her daughter since birth.
“We read two books every night before bed,” she said.
Addison likes to experiment with all sorts of books. Her favorites are the Fancy Nancy series and books about trains.
Another way to make reading fun is to create themed sessions based on the book. For example, a book about scary creatures might spur a session in a tent or by a campfire. Likewise, a tea party in dress-up clothes would be a great setting for a princess fairytale.
Stay active with preteen and young-adult readers
The preteen and young adult age groups who aren’t already hooked on reading may require a little extra boost. Spike their interest for a book by openly reacting and expressing emotion over an excerpt. Then, talk about what happened and why the book is interesting.
Another possibility might include starting a book together and maintaining group reading sessions until they are into the book enough to read it to the end individually.
E-readers can be a useful tool for children or teens who are less interested with the look and feel of a book. Access to library books is available on nook and kindle devices. The Grand Forks Public Library’s Overdrive Program offers a selection of literature on either device.
“The main thing is for parents to be involved with their children,” Stefanich said, and
Choose to make reading a priority for kids now, so they will make it a priority in the future because “There comes a point when it is going to be the child’s responsibility,” Stefanich said, and this will help that at the start of every school year.