I work in an elementary school, and I spend a lot of my time there promoting books and reading. I’m one of those people that believes,
so I spend a good chunk of time working on that. However, I also believe that as hard as I and my colleagues try to work at it, it can still be difficult and working together with families helps tremendously.
In our often rushed society of instant gratification, many times kids, especially kids who have not been exposed to books early on, do not have the patience it can take to get into books. Seemingly simple tasks such as taking the time to read the back cover, glance at the pictures, or even sticking with it if the first chapter doesn’t grab you are all skills that we frequently have to work to make sure many students take the time for. Then on top of this, we also have to make sure they can read the book. That’s fine. We’re up to the task, but there’s something simple that parents can do to help.
Read with your child from birth.
One of the reasons I really like the Read Aloud organization is because of their focused efforts on developing a reading relationship between parents and their children. The goal of their program is to get parents to read to their 0-5 year old children 15 minutes a day, every day. I believe that simply creating this routine of reading with your child can work wonders for their future reading lives. Reading with your baby or toddler regularly, even for just 15 minutes, can help them discover
- their enjoyment of reading
- which particular genres they enjoy
- a favorite author, illustrator, or series, and
- new words.
All of these skills will prove to be very helpful once they get into school and spend more time learning how to read and reading independently. Trust me. I’m there. Just 15 minutes a day. Please?