Adapted from: U.S. Department of Education
There are a number of steps that parents and other family members can take to help prepare their young children to become readers and to support the reading habit once they are in school. These include:
1. Talk to your child
Talk with your infants and young children frequently in short, simple sentences. Tell stories, sing songs, recite nursery rhymes or poems, and describe the world around them to expose them to words. Name things. Make connections. Encourage your child's efforts to talk with you.
2. Read Aloud
Try to read aloud to your children for 30 minutes daily beginning when they are infants.
3. Limit TV watching
Limit the amount and kind of television your children watch. Seek out educational television or videos from the internet that you can watch and discuss with your children.
Set up a special place for reading and writing in your home. A well-lit reading corner filled with lots of good books can become a child's favorite place.
5. Visit the library
Visit the public library often to spark your child's interest in books. Help your children obtain their own library cards and pick out their own books. Talk to a librarian about what books are appropriate for children at different ages and reading levels.
6. Show that you read
Demonstrate your own love of reading by spending quiet time in which your child observes you reading to yourself. You are your child's greatest role model. Show your child how reading and writing help you get things done every day-cooking, shopping or driving.
Consider giving books or magazines to children as presents or as a recognition of special achievements. Special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays, can be the perfect opportunity to give a child a new book.