How Parents Can Get Their Child to Read Early and Often
The process of children learning about reading begins at a very early age. Parents can start reading to a child when he is only a few weeks old. When parents read the infant is hearing the reader’s voice and is being calmed. Parents can read a book, newspaper or magazine to read. The most important thing is that the child is hearing the words spoken aloud. A fond memory I have is when my niece was ten days old on Christmas Eve of 2002. I read her The Night Before Christmas. She does not remember this, but I do.
As the child grows older, it is important for parents to set a good example. When parents are reading a newspaper or magazine article, they should point out interesting pictures, captions or headlines. This shows the child that words are exciting and everywhere.
When the child is two or three years old, the parents can staple pages together and let the child tell a story. As the child is telling the story write it down, then the child can illustrate the books. It is very rewarding to a child when the story is read back to them.
From the time the child is an early reader, parents should let children choose, with some guidance, books they want to read. This will hopefully show the child reading can be fun when they pick what looks interesting to them. If reading a large book discourages them, have the child pick some magazines specifically for children. Two examples are Nickelodeon and Sports Illustrated for Kids. The important point to remember is to get them reading at a young age and keep them reading.
An excellent way to keep children reading is to let them buy their own books. Finding inexpensive books for children is easy through book sales in schools, dollar stores and the Internet. A great place to get books is still the local library. Therefore, it is very important that families visit the library often and early to spread the joys of reading.
When I was a young child, I was a reluctant reader but I enjoyed my parents reading to me. They started reading to me at a very young age as my Mom read to my two older sisters while I was in her arms. As I got older, they read Hardy Boys,Boxcar Children and other books out loud.
In public school, I did not enjoy reading because it was always what teachers wanted us to read. Many of the books teachers picked did not interest me. This all changed when I was home schooled for fifth and sixth grades. At the time, being home schooled was the best thing that could have happened to me. Not only did I learn more because I received individual attention from my parents, but I began to read more often. For the first time, I was able to choose books that were interesting to me and I enjoyed these books. To this day, I still remember many of them fondly: Maniac McGee by Jerry Spinelli, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, and Finding Buck McHenry by Alfred Slote, among many others.
I enjoyed reading so much during home school that I was often allowed more time to read during the day. If I really enjoyed a book, I would read after school and even on weekends. When I went back to public school in seventh grade, I did not enjoy reading as much because I did not enjoy the books that I had to read. Throughout my school years I became an avid reader on my own time and enjoyed reading more and more.
When I graduated from high school in 2000, I had rediscovered the joy of reading for pleasure. Since that discovery I went on to community college, then to Western Michigan University with the goal of becoming a writer. I graduated in December 2005 with a degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Studies have shown and I agree: people who enjoy reading also enjoy writing. The more you read, the better writer you become.